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A History of the Arab Peoples : With a New Afterword - Albert Hourani

A History of the Arab Peoples

With a New Afterword

By: Albert Hourani, Malise Ruthven (Afterword by)

Paperback Published: 15th November 2010
ISBN: 9780674058194
Number Of Pages: 624

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Upon its publication in 1991, Albert Hourani's masterwork was hailed as the definitive story of Arab civilization, and became both a bestseller and an instant classic. In a panoramic view encompassing twelve centuries of Arab history and culture, Hourani brilliantly illuminated the people and events that have fundamentally shaped the Arab world. Now this seminal book is available in an expanded second edition. Noted Islamic scholar Malise Ruthven brings the story up to date from the mid-1980s, including such events as: the Gulf War; civil unrest in Algeria; the change of leadership in Syria, Morocco, and Jordan; and, the aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001.

The terrorist attacks in the United States, ongoing crisis in Iraq, and renewed violence between Israelis and Palestinians all underscore the need for a balanced and well-informed understanding of the Arab world, and make this insightful history of the Arab people more important than ever.

About the Author

Albert Hourani was Emeritus Fellow, St. Antony's College, Oxford. He died in 1993.

Malise Ruthven is a former editor with the BBC Arabic Service and World Service in London and is the author of Islam in the World and Islam: A Very Short Introduction.

Industry Reviews

This book by one of the most distinguished scholars of the Arab world and the Middle East is a splendid achievement that can be read with profit by rank beginners and jaded specialists. It is, moreover, written with the grace and wisdom that those who know Mr. Hourani's works have come to expect...This is history in the grand style. It can lead to a better understanding of the Arabs, past and present. -- L. Carl Brown New York Times Book Review There is something deeply reassuring and even redemptive about this very fine book...It is difficult to overestimate the importance of this book for this time. Here at last is a genuinely readable, genuinely responsive history of the Arabs...[Hourani] completely controls the best in modern as well as traditional Western scholarship and often lets the Arabs, their poets, historians, sages and ordinary people speak along with, rather than against, that learning. -- Edward W. Said Los Angeles Times Book Review [An] elegantly written study...[Hourani] delivers a grand story in a deceptively quiet and gentle tone of voice; a vision of the great journey of the Arab peoples. -- Robert Irwin Times Literary Supplement Mr. Hourani is one of the few scholars capable of writing a worthwhile history of the Arabs from the rise of Islam until the present day in under 600 pages. His treatment is inevitably broad-brush, but never superficial. He covers not only political history but culture, society, economy, and thought; and this distillation of a lifetime's scholarship is the book's greatest virtue. Economist This is a brilliant book, perhaps a landmark. It radiates the penetrating light of Albert Hourani's massive erudition upon what he calls the 'deeply disturbed societies' of the Arab world...Hourani is able to explain, concisely, matters of surpassing difficulty which must be understood in order to make sense of contemporary events...[A] rich and often gripping book. -- Thomas W. Lippman Washington Post Book World

Do read


I purchased this book so as to develop a better understanding of our Arab colleagues. Have only read 5 chapters. It is very full. But so informative. Arabs are very complex in their simplicity. I am particularly interested in the development of Islam and the Arab peoples. I look forward to the remainder of the book.

Mirador nsw


A History of the Arab Peoples

5.0 1


Author's Note
The Making of a World (Seventh-Tenth Century)
A New Power in an Old World
The world into which the Arabs came
The language of poetry
Muhammad and the appearance of Islam
The Formation of an Empire
The succession to Muhammad: the conquest of an empire
The caliphate of Damascus
The caliphate of Baghdad
The Formation of a Society
The end of political unity
A unified society: the economic bases
Unity of faith and language
The Islamic world
The Articulation of Islam
The questions of authority
The power and justice of God
The shari'a
The Traditions of the Prophet
The path of the mystic
The path of reason
Arab Muslim Societies (Eleventh-Fifteenth Century)
The Arab Muslim World
States and dynasties
Arabs, Persians and Turks
Geographical divisions
Muslim Arabs and others
The Countryside
Land and its use
Tribal societies
The Life of Cities
Markets and cities
The city population
Law and the 'ulama
Muslims and non-Muslims in the city
Women in the city
The shape of the city
Houses in the city
The chain of cities
Cities and Their Rulers
The formation of dynasties
The alliance of interests
Control of the countryside
Ideas of political authority
Ways of Islam
The Pillars of Islam
The friends of God
The Culture of the 'Ulama
The 'ulama and the shari'a
The transmission of learning
Divergent Paths of Thought
Islam of the philosophers
Ibn 'Arabi and theosophy
Ibn Taymiyya and the Hanbali tradition
The development of Shi'ism
Jewish and Christian learning
The Culture of Courts and People
Rulers and patrons
Poetry and story
Understanding the world
The Ottoman Age (Sixteenth-Eighteenth Century)
The Ottoman Empire
The limits of political power
Ottoman government
The Ottomans and Islamic tradition
Government in the Arab provinces
Ottoman Societies
Population and wealth in the empire
The Arab provinces
The culture of the Arab provinces
Beyond the empire: Arabia, the Sudan, Morocco
The Changing Balance of Power in the Eighteenth Century
Central and local authorities
Arab Ottoman society and culture
The world of Islam
Changing relations with Europe
The Age of European Empires (1800-1939)
European Power and Reforming Governments (1800-1860)
The expansion of Europe
The beginnings of European empire
Reforming governments
European Empires and Dominant Elites (1860-1914)
The limits of independence
The partition of Africa: Egypt and the Maghrib
The alliance of dominant interests
Control of the land
The condition of the people
The dual society
The Culture of Imperialism and Reform
The culture of imperialism
The rise of the intelligentsia
The culture of reform
The emergence of nationalism
The continuity of Islamic tradition
The Climax of European Power (1914-1939)
The supremacy of Great Britain and France
The primacy of British and French interests
Immigrants and the land
The growth of the indigenous elite
Attempts at political agreement
Changing Ways of Life and Thought (1914-1939)
Population and the countryside
Life in the new cities
The culture of nationalism
Islam of the élite and the masses
The Age of Nation-States (Since 1939)
The End of the Empires (1939-1962)
The Second World War
National independence (1945-1956)
The Suez crisis
The Algerian war
Changing Societies (1940s and 1950s)
Population and economic growth
The pro?ts of growth: merchants and landowners
The power of the state
Rich and poor in the city
National Culture (1940s and 1950s)
Problems of education
Language and self-expression
Islamic movements
The Climax of Arabism (1950s and 1960s)
Popular nationalism
The ascendancy of Nasirism
The crisis of 1967
Arab Unity and Disunity (since 1967)
The crisis of 1973
The predominance of American in?uence
The interdependence of Arab countries
Arab disunity
A Disturbance of Spirits (since 1967)
Ethnic and religious divisions
Rich and poor
Women in society
A heritage and its renewal
The stability of regimes
The fragility of regimes
Afterword 2002
Genealogies and Dynasties
The Family of the Prophet
The Shi'i Imams
The Caliphs
Important Dynasties
Ruling Families in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century
Index of Terms
General index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780674058194
ISBN-10: 0674058194
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 624
Published: 15th November 2010
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.67 x 15.7  x 3.99
Weight (kg): 1.0
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: Revised

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