Drawing on his experiences as historian and journalist in the Middle East, Peter Mansfield explores social, political and historical aspects - from the pre-Islamic nomads of Arabia, the life of Muhammad and the rise of Arab power that followed to the Western colonial period, to the tragedy of Palestine and the modern Arab renaissance, reinforced by the power of oil. He shows that the consequences of centuries of struggle for dominance between Christendom and the Islamic world survive to this day in various forms. Bringing events into the 1990s, he explores the causes and consequences of the Gulf War, the continuing conflict over Palestine and the difference in attitude between Arab liberals and fundamentalists as to the future outlook of the Arab world.
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