Caliphate is a grand and sweeping history of the caliphate since the death of the prophet Mohammed until the last official caliph in the 13th Century, and its modern incarnations under various Islamist groups today. Contrary to popular belief, Islamic law is not a codified set of legislations, and thus there cannot be one definition of the role of the caliph. Rather, this title has been the subject of serious debate and transformation over time. In Caliphate, historian and Middle East expert Hugh Kennedy lifts the veil on the changing and contested position of the caliph and explores the fascinating succession of various leaders of the Islamic world since the death of the Prophet in 632 until the modern day. Kennedy begins in 7th century Medina, the Prophet Muhammad's city in the Hejaz desert, in the hours following the prophet's death. In the end, Kennedy delves into the modern fate of the caliphate, as the British manipulate the 19th Century caliphs to spur dissent against the Ottomans in the Arab provinces, and Islamist leaders call for the creation of a Muslim caliphate. We witness the emergence of another Abu Bakr as "caliph" in 2014, as Kennedy untangles the twisted and distorted Qur'anic history ISIS uses to justify its barbaric acts. An authoritative new account of the dynasties of leaders who shaped the Arab world, The Caliphate reveals the legacy of one of the most potent political ideas in modern history.