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Posted November 5, 2006
Bias Weaved in History
Commencing from the cover, especially in comparison to 'Warriors of God', this book subtly but undeniably reaffirms its bias against the Catholic Church and Europeans in general. While no one can seriously argue that the Inquisition was a point of pride in the history of the Church, 'Dogs of God' does history and its readers a disservice by retelling events from the convenience of a moral time machine. Rather than tell a story in a neutral, narrative style, James Reston, Jr. has opted to tell these important events (Inquisition, expulsion of the Moors from Western Europe, discovery of the Americas) from a morally-weighted and far-sighted viewpoint. All character flaws of European figures are prominently elaborated, or exaggerated, while few disparaging remarks can be found relating to Arab characters. Even the title of the book itself, referring to an order of Dominican friars known as the ¿Militia of Christ¿, draws its derogatory name from distorting a reference to the common name later given to the Dominicans (¿Hounds of God¿). While the author acknowledges this once, in the very next sentence and thereafter he refers to the Order, and pretty much any fifteenth century Christian that doesn¿t meet modern-day moral code, as ¿dogs of God¿. By way of example, when Christians are expelled from Arab lands (¿Warriors of God¿) the author presents this time in history as a triumph for a pious mankind. When Arabs are expelled from Christian lands however (¿Dogs of God¿), it is a dark and tragic time in history [that just happened to precede the renaissance, incidentally.] The reader needs to decide for him or herself. Unfortunately this bias comes through, distracts from the flow of the story and detracts from book and author¿s credibility.
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Posted January 3, 2013
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