In this second edition, first published ijn 2002, Ira Lapidus explores the origins and evolution of Muslim societies. The book, revised and updated, is divided into three parts. The first covers the formative era of Islamic civilization. The second traces the diffusion of worldwide Islamic societies, while the third explores their reaction to European imperialism, and emergence as independent states. The concluding chapters consider Islam's recent history, the formation of Islamic revival movements and global Islamic identities. The book is essential reading for students and for those seeking to understand the Muslim peoples.