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A 3,000-Year History of Peoples, Tribes and Empires

Tim Mackintosh-Smith

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Yale University
15 April 2019

Masterly and brilliant -Simon Sebag Montefiore

A book of vast scope and stunning insight. -Anthony Sattin, Spectator

Commanding erudition and a swashbuckling style define this history of the Arabs -Justin Marozzi, Sunday Times

This kaleidoscopic book covers almost 3,000 years of Arab history and shines a light on the footloose Arab peoples and tribes who conquered lands and disseminated their language and culture over vast distances. Tracing this process to the origins of the Arabic language, rather than the advent of Islam, Tim Mackintosh-Smith begins his narrative more than a thousand years before Muhammad and focuses on how Arabic, both spoken and written, has functioned as a vital source of shared cultural identity over the millennia.

Mackintosh-Smith reveals how linguistic developments-from pre-Islamic poetry to the growth of script, Muhammad's use of writing, and the later problems of printing Arabic-have helped and hindered the progress of Arab history, and investigates how, even in today's politically fractured post-Arab Spring environment, Arabic itself is still a source of unity and disunity.
Imprint:   Yale University
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 156mm,  Spine: 6mm
Weight:   1.191kg
ISBN:   9780300180282
ISBN 10:   0300180284
Pages:   656
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Tim Mackintosh-Smith is an eminent Arabist, translator, and traveler whose previous publications include Travels with a Tangerine and Yemen. He has lived in the Arab world for thirty-five years and is a senior fellow of the Library of Arabic Literature.

Reviews for Arabs: A 3,000-Year History of Peoples, Tribes and Empires

Quite brilliant. Arabs is well written with personal touches of someone who has experienced the last thirty years of Arab history at the very centre of things. I am full of admiration for this inspiring book, with its quite original and timely view of Arab historical identity, and cannot wait to see it on the shelves. --Philip Kennedy, author of Recognition in the Arabic Narrative Tradition Superb. What really distinguishes this book from others is the sheer number of its insights into Arab history, all of which are tantalizing. There is also a poignancy to the telling of the complex story of the Arabs because of the circumstances Mackintosh-Smith finds himself in while writing, in virtual lock-down in Sana'a during the ongoing civil war and invasion of Yemen by Saudi Arabia and the UAE. --Steven C. Caton, author of Yemen Chronicle

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