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A Macat Analysis of Albert Hourani's A History of the Arab Peoples

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Albert Hourani’s 1991 work, A History of the Arab Peoples, is unsurpassed as an overview of Arab history, from the rise of Islam to the late twentieth century. Going far beyond the political history that had generally characterized previous examinations, Hourani integrates a wide range of scholarship to provide a deep analysis of social, cultural, and economic structures. His interest in the everyday lives of Arab people and his desire to understand what united—rather than divided—many different nationalities gives readers a new and vital perspective on the region.

In A History, Hourani distils all of his thoughts, gathered over a long and distinguished career. In doing so, he creates a work that has wide appeal to general readers, every bit as much as to scholars. Despite dramatic changes in the Arab world since Hourani’s death in 1993, his analysis remains a credible and influential starting point for anyone with an interest in the Middle East.

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