A History of the Arab Peoples

By Albert Hourani
Read by Wanda McCaddon

21.08 Hours 01/01/2008 unabridged
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Despite the turmoil of Arab nationalism and fundamentalism, Middle Eastern wars, and oil crises, the history of the Arab world has been little known and poorly understood in the West. One reason may be that, for more than half a century, there has been no up-to-date single-volume work that chronicles the story of Arab civilization—until now. Albert Hourani, distinguished historian and interpreter, has written a masterwork, a panoramic view encompassing twelve centuries of Arab history and culture. He looks at all sides of this rich and venerable civilization, including the beauty of the Alhambra and the great mosques, the importance attached to education, the achievements of Arab science—but also internal conflicts, widespread poverty, the role of women, and the contemporary Palestinian question.

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Summary

Summary

Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award in 2011

Despite the turmoil of Arab nationalism and fundamentalism, Middle Eastern wars, and oil crises, the history of the Arab world has been little known and poorly understood in the West. One reason may be that, for more than half a century, there has been no up-to-date single-volume work that chronicles the story of Arab civilization—until now.

Albert Hourani, distinguished historian and interpreter, has written a masterwork, a panoramic view encompassing twelve centuries of Arab history and culture. He looks at all sides of this rich and venerable civilization, including the beauty of the Alhambra and the great mosques, the importance attached to education, the achievements of Arab science—but also internal conflicts, widespread poverty, the role of women, and the contemporary Palestinian question.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“This book by one of the most distinguished scholars of the Arab world and the Middle East is a splendid achievement that can be read with profit by rank beginners and jaded specialists. It is, moreover, written with the grace and wisdom that those who know Mr. Hourani's works have come to expect…This is history in the grand style. It can lead to a better understanding of the Arabs, past and present.” New York Times Book Review
“This is a brilliant book, perhaps a landmark. It radiates the penetrating light of Albert Hourani’s massive erudition upon what he calls the ‘deeply disturbed societies’ of the Arab world…Hourani is able to explain, concisely, matters of surpassing difficulty which must be understood in order to make sense of contemporary events…[A] rich and often gripping book.” Washington Post Book World
“Mr. Hourani is one of the few scholars capable of writing a worthwhile history of the Arabs…He covers not only political history but culture, society, economy, and thought; and this distillation of a lifetime's scholarship is the book’s greatest virtue.” Economist
“[An] elegantly written study…[Hourani] delivers a grand story in a deceptively quiet and gentle tone of voice; a vision of the great journey of the Arab peoples.” Times Literary Supplement
“There is something deeply reassuring and even redemptive about this very fine book…It is difficult to overestimate the importance of this book for this time. Here at last is a genuinely readable, genuinely responsive history of the Arabs…[Hourani] completely controls the best in modern as well as traditional Western scholarship and often lets the Arabs, their poets, historians, sages and ordinary people speak along with, rather than against, that learning.” Los Angeles Times Book Review
“A History of the Arab Peoples is an incomparable masterpiece of historical research and writing…[Wanda McCaddon], and her melodious voice, compliments Hourain’s writing style. In addition, her tongue effortlessly slides over the Arabic transliterations, and names that dot this momentous book.” Large Print Reviews
“Written by a master historian, this work is now the definitive study of the Arab peoples.” Library Journal
“The wonderful [Wanda McCaddon] is her wondrous best in this outstanding production of Hourani’s expansive history of Arab culture, history, and religion. The text is a curative to the general Western ignorance of Islam, its long and troubled history with Western nations and with Christianity and Judaism, and its sense of mission—cultural, historical, and religious—in challenging the West. It is in one volume an entry, like the storybooks of childhood, into a strange and miraculous realm. For all of this, May is the ideal reader. Her unfailing command of pace, nuance, and textual value has an authority that matches Hourani’s own, and listening to this vast reconstruction, which stretches from ancient times into our own, is like hearing History’s own voice, ageless and omniscient, high above the fray. As in her transcendent narrations of works by Barbara Tuchman, May validates here the claim of the audiobook not just to stand shoulder to shoulder with the text—but like theater or film—to stand apart as a unique genre and interpretation. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Albert Hourani

Albert Hourani (1915–1993) was born in Manchester, England. He attended Magdalen College, Oxford, where he studied philosophy, politics, and economics. In 1948 he was offered a fellowship at Magdalen College and, three years later, took up the post of first university lecturer in the modern history of the Near East, becoming director of the Middle East Centre at St. Antony’s College in 1958.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 21.08
Audience: Adult
Language: English