Country United Kingdom
Publication date February 18, 1991
Page count 576
Publisher Faber and Faber
Media type Print (hardcover)
Originally published 18 February 1991
|Subject History of Arab countries|
Similar Albert Hourani books, Middle East books
A History of the Arab Peoples is a book written by the British-born Lebanese historian Albert Hourani.
The book presents the history of the Arabs from the advent of Islam (although some pre-Islamic history is included) to the late 20th Century. More recent editions contain an afterword by Malise Ruthven bringing the history up to the present day including the Invasion of Iraq.
Hourani follows the methodology employed by Ibn Khaldun in his Muqaddimah, specifically the reliance on the concept of asabiyyah as a means of accounting for dynastic and political changes. Thus, the book involves a considerable amount of social history as well as economic history in order to account for the rise and subsequent fall of historical powers such as the Umayyad and Ottoman Empires.
Hourani's specialisation was in intellectual history, and this is also a focus of this work. Considerable rigour is given to explanations of the rise of Arab nationalism, Salafism, Ba'athism and Islamism.
The book has been translated into Arabic, and the book has found some currency in Arab universities and schools as an introductory text for Arab history. It has also been used as a text for upper-level courses in Arabic as a second language, on account of the highly readable style of Kamal Khouly's translation.