Joel Beinin's state-of-the-art survey of subaltern history in the Middle East demonstrates lucidly and compellingly how the lives, experiences and culture of working people can inform our historical understanding. Beginning in the middle of the eighteenth century, the book charts the history of peasants, urban artisans and modern working-classes across the lands of the Ottoman empire and its Muslim-majority successor-states, including the Balkans, Turkey, the Arab Middle East and North Africa. Inspired by the approach of the Indian Subaltern Studies school, the book is the first to offer a synthesized critical assessment of the scholarly work on the social history of this region for the last twenty years. It offers new insights into the political, economic and social life of ordinary men and women and their apprehension of their own experiences. Students will find it rich in narrative detail, and accessible and authoritative in presentation.