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The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History (Bollingen Series (General)) Paperback – Abridged, 31 Oct 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Abridged edition with a New introduction by Bruce B. Lawrence edition (31 Oct. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691120544
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691120546
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 12.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 517,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

From review of Princeton's original edition: "[N. J. Dawood] has, by skillful abridgement and deft but unobtrusive editing, produced an attractive and manageable volume, which should make the essential ideas of Ibn Khaldûn accessible to a wide circle of readers."--Times Literary Supplement



From review of Princeton's original edition: "Undoubtedly the greatest work of its kind that has ever been created by any mind in any time or place . . . the most comprehensive and illuminating analysis of how human affairs work that has been made anywhere."--Arnold J. Toynbee, Observer


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the best book of islamic history and history in general I have read. Very details. It can be a bit complicated to understand sometimes but it is worth understanding everything.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very interesting the more when one realizes The Muquaddimah was written in the very early 14th century!
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This is a magnificent book, I highly recommend it to all.

Ibn Khaldun was an exceptionally bright man (he is considered the father of economics and sociology by some, such is his greatness); during his time he held many influential political positions, he traveled around a great deal, he met many different types of people and studied with some of the greatest scholars in the Maghreb region. Due to his experiences he had a huge amount of knowledge and a lot of this knowledge is transferred into al-Muqaddimah.

The book discusses a wide range of topics: the flaws of history works, how and why a dynasty rises and falls, what drives civilisation, sufism, alchemy, dream interpretation, etc. He gives us a fascinating insight as to how the world works (even now) and what civilisation was like during his life. This book will help you become more educated and it may even change your perspective of life.

So yes buy this book you will not regret it!
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Format: Paperback
Reviewed by Charles Mugisha - University of Birmingham

This is one book I recommend to any student of History and any university lecturers of history who have no knowledge of Ibn Khaldun(1332-1406). The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History - introduces us to Ibn Khaldun - one of the greatest Arab Muslim historians. He studied the structure of society in history and his insights are of trans-cultural significance. Ibn Khaldun had an influence in the intricate politics of North Africa and Spain, and he was also a distinguished jurist and practicing judge, however his fame rests on his achievement as a historian and, more particularly, on the introductory volume to his "History of the World".
In this introduction, Ibn Khaldun shows a certain familiarity with pre-Islamic and Biblical material and makes references to developments in the Western Christian world.

He argues that humanity is divided into two groups: "natural" and "necessary" groups. The `natural' group as the nomads and the `necessary' group as the settlers. Ibn Khaldun observed that the nomads possess the physical and mental advantages of relative closeness to the state of nature. He goes on to say that nomads will, under the impact of a religious message and with the aid of their intense feeling of solidarity, grow into a political force which the members of urban settlements, weakened by the complexity of their lives and the luxuries to which they have become accustomed, always prove unable to resist. The latter fall prey to the invader, who in turn becomes a willing victim to the developmental cycle that has corrupted his predecessors.

According to Ibn Khaldun, the average life span of a Bedouin power is four generations.
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Format: Paperback
Hello.
The English interpretation of Ibn Khaldun's historical works should be read by all those who wish to gain a better understanding into the currents that drive human civilization. The scholar's words, although they were written down over six hundred years ago, contain insights that are remarkable and wisdom that will provide the reader with a fresh outlook on the world around them.
The work deals with the various conditions that underly the rise, maintenence, maturity and decline of civilization and of the political entities that are created by people. The role of the "dynasty" (government) in the economy, the effect of taxation, the circulation of wealth, and other aspects of the political economy are set down in great detail.
Ibn Khaldun describes the stages that every civilization passes from the turmoil of the inception of political entities, through the stability of the "middle period," to the "senility" and decline. Where the pursuit of luxury and ease in a sociey dominates and results in the eventual death of the dynasty. His parallel of the life of a society and with the life of an individual is a thing that is thought provoking.
I hope more people will read this book and thereby experience the genius of Ibn Khaldun.
Peace,
Sharif M. Sazzad
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Format: Paperback
This book is living proof that Arab intellectual thought has contributed towards the advancement of mankind.

Quite simply, this work displays such passionate enthusiasm in its quest for rational knowledge, and investigates such a broad spectrum of human behavior, that it has rarely been equaled in its scope. I wouldn't hesitate to say that it's one of the very few books that can change your outlook on life. Ibn Khaldun spent most of his lifetime writing the Muqaddimah, and it stands for all to see as the legacy of a genius.

Of particular importance in my opinion is his division of human society into urban and rural communities. This crucial distinction makes the book one of the founding documents of sociology. Moreover, its brilliant examination of political economy develops ideas that can be traced hundreds of years later in the works of Montesquieu, Smith, Marx, and Engels. I also found that even after 600 years, the description of Bedouin society was still very relevant.

I strongly encourage you to acquire a copy of this epic work. Don't be put off by its age. After reading a few pages, you will quickly realize that you've uncovered a rare jewel.
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