The key to understanding the Arab world today is unlocking its past. In this authoritative account, John McHugo takes the reader through the political, social and intellectual history of the Arabs from the Roman Empire right up to the present day. Going beyond the headlines, he describes in vivid detail a series of key turning points in Arab history - from the mission of the Prophet Muhammad and the expansion of Islam to the region's interaction with Western ideas and the rise of Islamism. Now fully updated to cover the tumultuous years since the Arab Spring, this lucidly told history reveals how the Arab world came to have its present form and illuminates the choices that lie ahead.
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. www.johnmchugo.com
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