The Venture of Islam has been honored as a magisterial work of the mind since its publication in early 1975. In this three-volume study, illustrated with charts and maps, Hodgson traces and interprets the historical development of Islamic civilization from before the birth of Muhammad to the middle of the twentieth century. This work grew out of the famous course on Islamic civilization that Hodgson created and taught for many years at the University of Chicago.
"This is a nonpareil work, not only because of its command of its subject but also because it demonstrates how, ideally, history should be written."—The New Yorker
Volume 1, The Classical Age of Islam, analyzes the world before Islam, Muhammad's challenge, and the early Muslim state between 625 and 692. Hodgson then discusses the classical civilization of the High Caliphate. The volume also contains a general introduction to the complete work and a foreword by Reuben Smith, who, as Hodgson's colleague and friend, finished the Venture of Islam after the author's death and saw it through to publication.