Unfortunately, this book does not answer these questions.
As a professor of History I found this a good overview of the court life of the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates, while holding the readers interest.
Content Summary: This is a good book for beginners to start, as the book is written with the intention of reaching a non-academic audience.
Great book, makes understanding this part of the world a lot easier. Having spent two years of my life in Baghdad, I found it very interesting.Published 4 months ago by Eileen
I expected books with more serious kind of information rather gossip type accounts with little indexing and cross-references. Otherwise has credible accounts but the doubt lingers.Published 18 months ago by Hassan J. Zaidi
The author, a professor of Middle Eastern history, seeks to bring the early Abbasid dynasty alive for newcomers to the field. Read morePublished on March 27, 2012 by Robert Lebling
3.5. Informative read sprinkled with illustrative anecdotes and facts about court life, customs, arts, architecture and reality of the harem in a scholarly way, making it not just... Read morePublished on November 29, 2011 by Khayzuran
A readable account that gives insight into the personalities of the Abbasid Caliphs from 750 until the 10th century, but not a good source for information on the philosopphical and... Read morePublished on August 1, 2011 by Peregrine
This book was a good blend of accurate history and interesting writing. As a professor of History I found this a good overview of the court life of the Umayyad and Abbasid... Read morePublished on March 21, 2011 by bczrx
I agree with the reviewer who stated Kennedy's book did not bring to light just why the Abbasids reached the heights they did. Read morePublished on February 7, 2011 by Virginia Must
Content Summary: This is a good book for beginners to start, as the book is written with the intention of reaching a non-academic audience. Read morePublished on October 24, 2010 by Will Jerom