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In contrast to recent highly specialized and geographically targeted works, Green's detailed and episodic history of the Inquisition paints a broad picture of religious persecution in Spain, Portugal, and their colonies in Africa and the New World. Moving from continent to continent, Green (Saddled with Darwin) focuses on the role of fear in advancing the reach of inquisitorial power: "Fear spread through society with the power of the Inquisition to deliver social and financial ruin." Using examples drawn from archival research, the author looks at the psychological issues involved, such as envy, the use of informers, the spread of paranoia, and the application of terror tactics. Green asks if the attitudes and actions of the Inquisition are "an inevitable precursor to the modern human condition" that created such phenomena as the East German Stasi's network of informers. But just as the Inquisition contributed to the decline of Spanish and Portuguese power, Green believes that the contemporary use of fear and terror tactics will inevitably destroy their perpetrators. This complex work is recommended for academic libraries.