Good book on the origins, evolution and future of Islam. Well written, easy to read and a good size (~300 pages). The author analyses the history of Islam with a good deal of commentary so, of course, you'll have to keep in mind his American/Iranian/Liberal/Shi'i personal persuasions when reading it. The book itself covers the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing of God be upon him) in the first third, early Islamic history from the rightly guided caliphs onwards in the second third, events from the last century-and-a-half in the final third, and the author's thoughts on the faith's near future in closing. Overall a decent book in my opinion. What it might lack in objective rigour in parts it makes up for in accessibility.