The key to understanding the Arab world today is unlocking its past. In this authoritative account, John McHugo takes the reader through the political, social and intellectual history of the Arabs from the Roman Empire right up to the present day. Going beyond the headlines, he describes in vivid detail a series of key turning points in Arab history - from the mission of the Prophet Muhammad and the expansion of Islam to the region's interaction with Western ideas and the rise of Islamism. Now fully updated to cover the tumultuous years since the Arab Spring, this lucidly told history reveals how the Arab world came to have its present form and illuminates the choices that lie ahead.
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John McHugo is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Syrian Studies at St Andrews University. A board member of the Council for Arab British Understanding and the British Egyptian Society, he is also an advisor to Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, on peace in the Middle East. McHugo's writing has featured in History Today, The World Today, Jewish Quarterly and on the BBC News and Al Jazeera websites. His other publications include Syria: A Recent History. He lives in London. www.johnmchugo.comReview:
'A lucid and highly readable history of the Arab peoples up to the present day ... [it] will enlighten all who read it.' Charles Tripp, author of The Power and the People: Paths of Resistance in the Middle East 'This concise, brilliant and erudite book is the product of wide reading, hard thinking and years of direct experience of the Middle East.' Patrick Seale, author of Asad: The Struggle for the Middle East 'Thrilling and poignant, woven with a layered texture of knowledge and empathy' David Gardner, Financial Times 'Recommended for anyone wishing to learn more about the multifaceted history of the Arab world and its relevance to modern day events' Asian Affairs 'Gets to the point with authority, insight and grace to provide the essential political contexts for understanding the ongoing developments in today's Arab world' History Book Club 'Purposeful, insightful and tremendously useful, complete with an excellent bibliographic essay' Kirkus
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