Cover: The Orange Trees of Marrakesh: Ibn Khaldun and the Science of Man, from Harvard University PressCover: The Orange Trees of Marrakesh in HARDCOVER

The Orange Trees of Marrakesh

Ibn Khaldun and the Science of Man

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Product Details


$40.00 • £32.95 • €36.00

ISBN 9780674967656

Publication Date: 11/02/2015

Academic Trade

400 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

1 halftone, 1 map


Stephen Dale’s book contains a careful account of the dizzying ups and downs of Ibn Khaldun’s political and academic career at courts in North Africa, Andalusia and Egypt. For these and other reasons The Orange Trees of Marrakesh deserves careful and respectful attention.—Robert Irwin, The Times Literary Supplement

Six centuries ago, a Tunisian scholar created a new mirror for humankind. In his masterwork Muqaddimah, Ibn Khaldun (1332–1406) became the first person to approach history scientifically, by analyzing social, economic and political evidence to reveal cycles of societal change… Historian Stephen Frederic Dale argues that Ibn Khaldun’s work is a key milestone on the road from Greek to Enlightenment thought, chiming with the radical reasoning of philosophers such as Montesquieu and Adam Smith.—Barbara Kiser, Nature

Dale’s interest in Greco-Islamic philosophy contributes to this biography’s uniqueness… This work provides indispensable background information to truly appreciate this single most influential Islamic historian.—R. W. Zens, Choice

Excellent scholarship on a fascinating subject.Publishers Weekly

This is a masterful book that could only be written by a historian of Dale’s experience and deep thinking. It serves as both an introduction to the work of Ibn Khaldun and an argument for adding him to a canon of intellectual history—from the Greeks through the Renaissance to the Enlightenment—that normally excludes non-European thinkers. This is intellectual history of the first order and one of the best books I know of for specialists and non-specialists on the thought of one of the most important intellectuals of the last millennium.—Alan Mikhail, author of The Animal in Ottoman Egypt

This is an extremely readable and accessible work that will prove to be both enjoyable and intellectually beneficial to the general reader as well as scholars interested in the social sciences, history, and the Middle East and North African regions. The major contribution of this book is Dale’s discussion of the Aristotelian roots of Ibn Khaldun’s method and its use in his model of state formation.—Syed Farid Alatas, author of Ibn Khaldun

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