This “brilliant and erudite” history by the award-winning Arabist provides vital context for understanding the contemporary Middle East (Patrick Seale, author of Asad: The Struggle for the Middle East). From Algeria and Libya to Egypt, Syria, and Saudi Arabia, the Arab world commands Western headlines. Nowhere else does the unfolding of events have such significant consequences for America. And yet its complex politics and cultures elude the grasp of most Western readers and commentators. A Concise History of the Arabs provides an essential road map to understanding the Arab world today, and in the years ahead. Noted Arab scholar John McHugo guides readers through the political, social, and intellectual history of the Arabs from the Roman Empire to the present day. Taking readers beyond the headlines, McHugo vividly describes the crucial turning points in Arab history—from the Prophet Muhammad’s mission and the expansion of Islam to the region’s interaction with Western ideas and the rise of Islamism. This lucidly told history reveals how the Arab world came into its present form, why major shifts like the Arab Spring were inevitable, and what may lie ahead for the region. A Choice Outstanding Academic Title, this accessible history is “the product of wide reading, hard thinking and years of direct experience of the Middle East . . . There are lively and informative insights on almost every page” (Patrick Seale, author of Asad: The Struggle for the Middle East).