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Dr Kennedy gives a full and clear account of the Near East in the formative period of Islamic society. Beginning with the life of Muhammad and the birth of Islam, he goes on to examine the great Arab conquests and the golden age of Islam from the eighth to the tenth centuries. The book closes with the period of political fragmentation in the tenth and eleventh centuries when the early unity was lost, never to be recovered.
Chapter 1:The matrix of the Muslim world: the near East in the early seventh century
Chapter 2: The Birth of the Islamic State
Chapter 3: Conquest and division in the time of the Rashidun Caliphs
Chapter 4: The Umayyad Caliphate
Chapter 5: The early 'Abbasid Caliphate'
Chapter 6: The Middle 'Abbasid caliphate
Chapter 7: The structure of politics in the Muslim commonwealth
Chapter 8: The Buyid confederation
Chapter 9: The Kurds
Chapter 10: The Hamdanids
Chapter 11: Bedouin political movements and dynasties
Chapter 12: Early Islamic Egypt and the Fatimid empire