The first popular English-language account of the rise of Arab power Hugh Kennedy has a very high international reputation in this field An epic tale of the rise and fall of great empires
Hugh Kennedy studied Arabic at the Middle East Centre for Arabic Studies before reading Arabic, Persian and History at Cambridge.Since 1972 he has taught in the Department of Mediaeval History at the University of St Andrews.He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2000.Previous titles:The Court of the Caliphs (Bfmt Feb 06, HC Dec 04);Mongols, Huns and Vikings (HC Aug 02);U.K. editions available: The Byzantine and Early Islamic Near East (U.K. HC Jul 06);When Baghdad Ruled the Muslim World;Muslim Military Architecture in Greater Syria;The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates
This is a fascinating historical narrative of the Arab Muslim conquests of the Middle East and beyond from 632 C.E. to 750 C.E. Kennedy (medieval history, Univ. of St. Andrews, Scotland; When Baghdad Ruled the Muslim World: The Rise and Fall of Islam's Greatest Dynasty) does a marvelous job of drawing upon and interpreting the written conquest accounts of the Arabs, and of the people they conquered, including the Byzantines, Christians, Persians, and Jews, while using the research of modern historians to give as clear and rich an account as possible. His analysis comes down to the instability of the Byzantine and Persian Empires, the small populations owing to the plague that occurred just before the conquests, the absence of any real resistance by local populations being conquered, and the toughness of the Arab armies and their ability to move quickly. The book also includes a chapter of personal responses (both positive and negative) to the conquests, ranging from a Chinese prisoner of war to letters of vanquished Greeks. Highly recommended for all public and academic libraries.-Melissa Aho, Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
An exciting story gets extra colour thanks to Kennedy's ease with the sources - THE SCOTSMANThe story of the Arab conquests is a dramatic one and Kennedy makes a boldly ambitious attempt to tell it - THE SUNDAY TIMESMr Kennedy tells a remarkable tale with skill and authority - THE ECONOMISTThe Great Arab Conquests is history at its most vivid and enthralling.. a truly magnificent achievement. - THE NEW STATESMENfascinating and well-written - The GUARDIANa superb history - THE DAILY TELEGRAPH