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Who are the Arabs and what has been their place in the course of human history? This is the central question which Bernard Lewis addressed in his illuminating study of the Arabs' identity, achievements, and relations with the non-Arab world. He traces Arab history from pre-Islamic times to the present day, focusing on the waves of conquest in the early Islamic period, the creation of the vast Islamic empire, the subsequent spread of Arab culture and trade, and the later decline of Arab power in the face of growing Western dominance. Today, with the Arab world facing profound social and political challenges, the reverberations of which have been felt far beyond the Middle East, Bernard Lewis' classic book constitutes essential reading.
Now brought completely up to date, this classic study by one of the world's premier historians of the Middle East considers the achievement of the Arab peoples and their place in world history, from pre-Islamic times to the present-day. In a concise and readable account, Lewis examines the awakening that accompanied the advent of Islam and the political, religious, and social developments that transformed the Arab kingdom into an Islamic empire. He brings the edition up-to-the-minute with an account of recent events in the Middle East and analyzes the forces, internal and external, that have shaped the modern Arab world. Lewis shows how Western inventions and institutions have shattered the old structures and the traditional way of life, affecting every Arab, and causing a still unsatisfied demand for social, political, and cultural renewal.
Incisive and intriguing, this highly regarded and timely work--previously translated into Arabic, as well as many other European, Asian, and Middle Eastern languages--is sure to advance a greater understanding of the Arab past and present.
Bernard Lewis is Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies, and Long-Term Member of the Institute for Advance Study, Princeton University. He has published numerous books on the Middle East, including, The Assassins, Race and Slavery in the Middle East: A Historical Enquiry, and The Middle East.
"Review from previous edition
clear, fascinating and valuable"--The Guardian
"stimulating ... The continuous regard paid to the development of trade and economy deserves partucular praise."--History
"Professor Lewis has admirably achieved his object, notably bringing out broad economic trends"--International Affairs
"... enormously influential history ... after reading 'Gibbon on Muhammad', it is tempting to speculate that Lewis's long-standing interest in the eighteenth-century historian may have influenced his own ambition to scan grand horizons, his taste for irony and his unmistakably elegant literary style."--Robert Irwin, Middle Eastern Studies