God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215

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W. W. Norton & Company, Jan 12, 2009 - History - 384 pages
8 Reviews

"A furiously complex age; a powerful narrative."--New York Times Book Review, Editor's Choice

At the beginning of the eighth century, the Arabs brought a momentous revolution in power, religion, and culture to Dark Ages Europe. David Levering Lewis's masterful history begins with the fall of the Persian and Roman empires, followed by the rise of the prophet Muhammad and the creation of Muslim Spain. Five centuries of engagement between the Muslim imperium and an emerging Europe followed, from the Muslim conquest of Visigoth Hispania in 711 to Latin Christendom's declaration of unconditional warfare on the Caliphate in 1215. Lewis's narrative, filled with accounts of some of the greatest battles in world history, reveals how cosmopolitan, Muslim al-Andalus flourished--a beacon of cooperation and tolerance between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity--while proto-Europe, defining itself in opposition to Islam, made virtues out of hereditary aristocracy, religious intolerance, perpetual war, and slavery. A cautionary tale, God's Crucible provides a new interpretation of world-altering events whose influence remains as current as today's headlines. Some images in the ebook are not displayed owing to permissions issues.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - charlie68 - LibraryThing

A good well written history from the birth of Islam to its sence in Spain in the 13th Century. The white hats and black are dispersed fairly evenly between Muslims and Christians. And Christian society definitely benefited from the Muslim renaissance that occurred in Spain. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jensenmk82 - LibraryThing

This book is a welcome corrective to the standard Eurocentric account of the Middle Ages. Lewis writes the dense prose of a mandarin historian, with magisterial periods and ornate formulations, but ... Read full review

Contents

The Superpowers
3
The Arabs Are Coming
29
Jihad
57
The Coopted Caliphate and the StumblingJihad
85
The Year 711
105
Picking Up the Pieces after Rome
137
The Myth of Poitiers
160
The Fall and Rise of the Umayyads
184
Roncesvalles and Saxony
251
The Great Mosque
268
The First Europe Briefly
282
EquipoiseDelicate and Doomed
304
Disequilibrium Pelayos Revenge
333
acknowledgments
381
glossary
423
bibliography
439

Saving the Popes
209
An Empire of Force and Faith
224
credits
449
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

David Levering Lewis is a University Professor at New York University. Both volumes of his biography of W. E. B. Du Bois received the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in New York City.

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