Now brought completely up to date, this classic study by one of the world's premier historians of the Middle East considers the achievement of the Arab peoples and their place in world history, from pre-Islamic times to the present-day. In a concise and readable account, Lewis examines the awakening that accompanied the advent of Islam and the political, religious, and social developments that transformed the Arab kingdom into an Islamic empire. He brings the edition up-to-the-minute with an account of recent events in the Middle East and analyzes the forces, internal and external, that have shaped the modern Arab world. Lewis shows how Western inventions and institutions have shattered the old structures and the traditional way of life, affecting every Arab, and causing a still unsatisfied demand for social, political, and cultural renewal. Incisive and intriguing, this highly regarded and timely work-previously translated into Arabic, as well as many other European, Asian, and Middle Eastern languages--is sure to advance a greater understanding of the Arab past and present.