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The Arabs is widely considered one of the essential books for understanding the Middle East and the peoples who live there. David Lamb, who spent years as a correspondent in Cairo, explores the Arabs’ religious, political, and cultural views, noting the differences and key similarities between the many segments of the Arab world. He explains Arab attitudes and actions toward the West, including the growth of terrorism, and situates current events in a larger historical backdrop that goes back more than a thousand years.
Now thoroughly revised and updated, The Arabs takes the story up to 2001. Lamb analyzes the developments that led to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and helps the reader to understand how things got to that point. A veteran journalist, Lamb combines his extensive experience in covering international politics with his deeply informed insider’s knowledge to provide an intimate portrait of the Arab world today.
The Arab world167 million people in 18 countriesis, as Lamb (The Africans reminds us, full of contradictions that seem to defy a Westerner's logic. Here he goes a long way toward sorting them out, stripping away stereotypes to reveal the extraordinary degree to which Arabs are misjudged in the West. He demonstrates, for instance, that Arab societies are the most crime-free on earth, that premarital sex is a rare occurrence in the Arab world, that Islam is closer to Christianity than to any other major religion, and that Islamic extremism has replaced Israel as the prime enemy of most Arab governments. Lamb argues that one of the primary reasons why the Arabs are singled out for media-bashing is that, unlike most other Third World peoples, they have resisted assimilating Western ways or capitulating to Western values. We need to get to know the Arabs better, he warns, "because in the end the destiny of the Arabs will affect the destiny of us all.'' Photos. Major ad/promo.