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Arabs

A 3,000-Year History of Peoples, Tribes, and Empires
Narrated by: Ralph Lister
Length: 25 hrs and 34 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

Regular price: £20.89

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Summary

A riveting, comprehensive history of the Arab peoples and tribes that explores the role of language as a cultural touchstone 

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.

©2019 Tim Mackintosh-Smith (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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The best book I've bought on Audible.

This is, to date, the best book I've purchased on Audible. So much so that I will pick up a hard copy companion as well.

The book is written extremely well, it is a brilliant history of the Arab peoples, lands, language, and culture. It is respectful, whilst maintaining academic rigour. I would most certainly recommend it to anyone with even the faintest interest in the region. The book also contains ample humour, I laughed aloud several times while listening, and several times further when reading passages I've found in online samples.

That brings me to the narrator, who also may be one of the best narrators I've listened to. He manages to carry all the intonation, humour, and emphasis perfectly.

Overall, I can not recommend this highly enough.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Weird

Difficult listening, as the narrator’s tone and delivery is like some 1970s DJ, selling soap powder.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic account of an often overlooked period

I tried to find a book which would give me more detail of the prelude, rise and explosive expansion of early Islam, this book fitted perfectly with what I was looking for. The latter periods were also very interesting but I feel that the account of pre 1000 CE Arabs was the strongest part of the book.

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  • Ann kimball
  • 19-07-19

this is textbook reading

this is not a light read, and unless you know something about what he is talking about you will find this a bit of a challenge. I learned, but it's not good for an audible experience.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mohammed Kazim
  • 12-07-19

interesting and eyeopening

loved it and couldnt put it down. my only comment goes towards taking a biased approach on islams influence not giving it its right on how it transformed the peninsula as well as a few other points when it comes to regional politics .. overall an interesting read

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephen Giordano
  • 21-05-19

Narration

Can’t understand every third word the narrator says - tried slowing down the speed of narration- didn’t help.

3 of 10 people found this review helpful