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A classic, secular history of the prophet Muhammad that vividly recreates the fascinating time in which Islam was born.

About the Author

Maxime Rodinson (1915-2004) was a Marxist historian and sociologist who specialized in Islam and the Arab world. He was for many years a professor at the cole Pratique des Hautes tudes at the Sorbonne and, after working several years in Syria and Lebanon, supervised the Muslim section of the Biblioth que Nationale in Paris.Among his works are Islam and Capitalism; Marxism and the Muslim World; and Cult, Ghetto, and State- The Persistence of the Jewish Question. Anne Carter has translated various books from the French, including works by Michel Tournier, Charles Perrault, Zoe Oldenbourg, Pierre Mend s-France, Juliette Benzoni, Philippe Jullian, Pierre Goubert, and Fran ois Mauriac. Robert Irwin is the Middle East editor of The Times Literary Supplement and the author of many books.His tenth novel, The Runes Have Been Cast, will be published in 2021.


"There can be no doubt that Professor Rodinson's book is the major contemporary Occidental work on the Prophet, and is essential reading." -Edward W. Said, author of Orientalism and Out of Place

"An absorbing biography . . . Rodinson sensitively portrays a more than plausible Muhammad." -The New Yorker

"In the best Voltairean tradition Rodinson delights in exposing his subject's all too human amorous, acquisitive, vengeful nature. . . . [A] trenchant and (of course) timely piece of scholarship." -Kirkus

"Maxime Rodinson, the distinguished scholar of the Arab and Muslim world. . . wrote to unveil the secrets of a world dimly understood by Europeans . . . Rodinson published some of the seminal texts in Middle Eastern studies, including Mohammed (1961), a biography still banned in parts of the Arab world for approaching the Prophet's life from a sociological perspective . . . Although he remained an independent (or, as he quipped, 'agnostic') Marxist, he appreciated the powerful role that religion played in the Arab world at a time when many European leftist observers of the region preferred to see it as a form of false consciousness that would melt into air once the Arab masses awakened to their 'true' class interests." -Adam Shatz, The Nation

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