In This Review

A History Of The Arab Peoples
A History Of The Arab Peoples
By Albert Hourani
Harvard University Press, 1991, 551 pp

Albert Hourani draws on many years of experience, research and thought in this masterful history of the Arabs from Mohammed's day to the present. One of its great merits is that it gives priority to social and cultural history over the often tedious story of wars and politics, although the author is amazingly successful in finding room for the key political events, and explanations for them, in a limited space. That is particularly true of his coverage of the years of rapid change since World War I. Written for the general reader, the book will also be read with pleasure and appreciation by scholars in the field.