A concise history of the Muslim countries. It begins with Rome and Persia and the pre-Islamic Bedouins and ends with the fall of Baghdad to the Mongols (1258), and in the West with the fall of Granada to the Christians (1492). The author seeks to unravel the many motivations and influences that went into the making of Islamic history and to expound and evaluate them. He frequently reminds the reader of economic and cultural developments taking place at the same time as, and often in intimate connection with, the more overtly political events. In her introduction, Jane Hathaway shows the connection between the history of Islamic civilization and world history.