The key to understanding the Arab world today - and in the future - is unlocking its past. In this sweeping and fluent account, John McHugo narrates a journey through the political, social and intellectual history of the Arabs from the Roman Empire right up to the present day. Taking readers beyond the headlines, he describes in vivid detail a series of turning points in Arab history - from the mission of the Prophet Muhammad and the expansion of Islam to the region's interaction with Western ideas and the rise of Islamism. This lucidly told history reveals how the Arab world came to have its present form, why change was inevitable, and a spectrum of possibilities following the Arab uprisings. At a time of radical change and deep uncertainty throughout the Arab world, here is a highly informed and accessible account - the perfect entry point for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of what has come and what lies ahead.