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A Concise History of the Arabs


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Table of Contents

Contents: List of Maps 8 Glossary of Arabic Terms and Words 9 Preface 13 One When History Changed Direction 19 Two Growing Apart 49 Three The West Takes Control 77 Four Sharing an Indigestible Cake 111 Five Secularism and Islamism in Egypt 150 Six The West Seems to Retreat 168 Seven The Six Day War and its Consequences 215 Eight Iraq, Israel, Militancy and Terrorism 228 Nine The Age of the Autocrats and the Rise of Islamism 265 Conclusion: Something Snaps - The Arab Spring and Beyond 293 Acknowledgements 322 Notes 324 Bibliography 331 Suggestions for Further Reading 338 Index 341

About the Author

John McHugo is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Syrian Studies at St Andrews University. A board member of the Council for Arab British Understanding and the British Egyptian Society, he is also an advisor to Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, on peace in the Middle East. McHugo's writing has featured in History Today, The World Today, Jewish Quarterly and on the BBC News and Al Jazeera websites. His other publications include Syria: A Recent History. He lives in London.


'A lucid and highly readable history of the Arab peoples up to the present day ... [it] will enlighten all who read it.' Charles Tripp, author of The Power and the People: Paths of Resistance in the Middle East 'This concise, brilliant and erudite book is the product of wide reading, hard thinking and years of direct experience of the Middle East.' Patrick Seale, author of Asad: The Struggle for the Middle East 'Thrilling and poignant, woven with a layered texture of knowledge and empathy' David Gardner, Financial Times 'Recommended for anyone wishing to learn more about the multifaceted history of the Arab world and its relevance to modern day events' Asian Affairs 'Gets to the point with authority, insight and grace to provide the essential political contexts for understanding the ongoing developments in today's Arab world' History Book Club 'Purposeful, insightful and tremendously useful, complete with an excellent bibliographic essay' Kirkus; `Timely ... McHugo succeeds in producing a clear and elegant of the sweep of Arab history from the birth of Muhammad to the military coup that overthrew the government of Egyptian president Muhammad Morsi. ... The value of McHugo's book is enhanced by the richness of its references and fullness of its bibliography.' Susannah Tarbush, The Tanjara; `Thrilling and poignant, woven with a layered texture of knowledge and empathy that deftly stitches familiar figures into the narrative in a fresh way.' David Gardner, International Affairs Editor, Financial Times, and author of Last Chance: the Middle East in the Balance; `Highly readable ... Ideal for novices, it is also a useful and exciting read for those who have read much about the area but never had the whole story summed up in a single volume.' Jordan Times; '[An] elegant work of history. It is an introductory history for newcomers to the field, but it still manages to take up some of the most significant debates without making them banal. This combination makes this book one of the more recommendable introductions to Arab history.' Journal of Peace Research; `... a valuable and rewarding work ... highly recommended' Bulletin of the British Foundation for the Study of Arabia; Selected, Choice's Outstanding Academic Title list

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