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Albert Hourani's A History of the Arab Peoples is unsurpassed as an overview of Arab history from the rise of Islam to the late twentieth century. Going far beyond political history, it provides a deep analysis of social, cultural and economic structures. This insightful interpretation helps to contextualize Hourani's interest in the everyday lives of the Arab people and his desire to understand what united—rather than divided—many different nationalities. Despite dramatic changes in the Arab world since Hourani's death in 1993, A History of the Arab Peoples remains a credible and influential starting point for anyone with an interest in the Middle East.