The Devil's Historians: How Modern Extremists Abuse the Medieval Past

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University of Toronto Press, May 28, 2020 - History - 208 pages

Amy S. Kaufman and Paul B. Sturtevant examine the many ways in which the medieval past has been manipulated to promote discrimination, oppression, and murder. Tracing the fetish for "medieval times" behind toxic ideologies like nationalism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, misogyny, and white supremacy, Kaufman and Sturtevant show us how the Middle Ages have been twisted for political purposes in every century that followed. The Devil's Historians casts aside the myth of an oppressive, patriarchal medieval monoculture and reveals a medieval world not often shown in popular culture: one that is diverse, thriving, courageous, compelling, and complex.

 

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Contents

Weaponizing History
1
Foundational Myths
9
2 Nationalism and Nostalgia
29
3 The Clash of Civilizations
53
4 White Supremacist Knights
81
5 Knights in Shining Armor and Damsels in Distress
103
6 Medievalism and Religious Extremism
127
The Future of the Medieval Past
151
Notes
161
Further Reading
183
Index
187
Copyright

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About the author (2020)

Amy S. Kaufman is a scholar of medieval studies and popular culture.

Paul B. Sturtevant is Editor in Chief of The Public Medievalist and a Visitor Research Specialist at The Smithsonian Institution.

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