The key to understanding the Arab world today - and in the future - is unlocking its past. John McHugo takes the reader on a journey through the political, social and intellectual history of the Arabs from the Roman Empire right up to the present day. He covers the mission of the Prophet Muhammad, the expansion of Islam, medieval and modern conflicts, the interaction with Western ideas, the struggle to escape foreign domination, the rise of Islamism, and the end of the era of dictators.
The concise history reveals how the Arab world came to have its present form, why change was inevitable and what choices lie ahead following the Arab Spring.
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Interesting, educating, but not balanced
The capability to summariize the long and complex history of the Arabs in a relatively compact form. Good reference and I will certainly come back to it.
This is my first
The author is not balanced in its attitude towards Israel as a part of the modern Middle East. Where he could provide a positive angle, he avoided reference to Israel. He claims this is not a history of Israel or of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but uses every opportunity to (concisely) refer to Israel in a negative way.
Despite my comment on the Israeli angle, my overall ranking is high because I was captured by the story and the way the author tells it.
- Eitan Yudilevich