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A History of the Arab Peoples, By Albert Hourani


Manchester-born to a Lebanese family, Hourani was an influential historian and policy analyst.

Panoramic, judicious, deeply readable, his 1991 narrative of Arab history from Muhammad to the post-1967 upheavals remains a classic.

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This reprint benefits from a long Afterword by Malise Ruthven which updates the late author's work to recount and analyse the Arab Spring.

Hourani's hopes for reformed states that would be "basically secular" but still relate to "general principles of social justice… in the Qur'an" feel at relevant as ever.