Albert Hourani's A History of the Arab Peoples reviews Arab history and society, from the time of Mohammed to the present day. Actually, the book concentrates on social issues (art, literature, economics, architecture, religion, philosophy, power structures, etc.) much more than traditional history. The writing is somewhat dry and esoteric, as you might expect from an Oxford scholar.

I had mixed feelings about the book. For someone like myself, who knows little about the region, a more engaging traditional history would be preferable. Hourani's work is probably an excellent book for someone who already knows a good deal about the Arab world, judging from the accolades that it received.

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