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

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    My problem with this book is that I've already read so much on the period in question.

    This book tries to show how Europe's contest with the Muslim world created the continent that we know today. I'm sure I would think that it's a fascinating book if only I hadn't already read so much both on the formation of Christendom and on the early medieval Muslim world (I went to graduate school in Near Eastern Studies). As it is, the book had its interesting moments, but I was only able to read it a little at a time. Perhaps the problem is mainly that not much information survives from that time period, relatively speaking, so what is left lacks the power to move us. Or perhaps it's that for most people the modern world is what best holds our interest. In any case, this book deserves a better review than I'm giving it.

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

    Most accessible and accurate picture of Europe's "Dark Ages" together with an unbiased, accurate and therefore surprising telling of the rise and spread of Islam

    I love the history of the middle ages, especially the early middle ages from the fall of rome until 1000 AD/CE. This book references the actual source materials available to historians and gives them in-depth analysis. The analysis is effective because the author pulls from European, Byzantine, Persian, Arab, Frank, Visigothic and Spanish-Moslem sources.

    The author corrects typical, but erroneous western perspectives about the Moslem "conquest" and the competing Christian and Moslem civilizations.

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    Posted December 21, 2009

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    Posted October 4, 2011

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    Posted June 14, 2010

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    Posted June 28, 2010

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    Posted May 26, 2011

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    Posted July 11, 2010

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