From historian James Reston, Jr., comes a riveting account of the pivotal events of 1492, a year that changed the world for ever.
Set against the fury and strife that arose from the cinders of medieval Europe, Dogs of God chronicles one of the most savage epochs in human history. In an effort to consolidate their powers on the Iberian Peninsula and free themselves from the yoke of the Vatican, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella turned to the priest Tomas de Torquemada, a member of the Dominican order. Torquemada argued that an Inquisition would strengthen the sovereigns' authority throughout Spain, particularly in the coming campaign against the Moors of Granada. When Granada fell, tens of thousands of Muslims were given the choice of converting to Christianity or facing death or banishment. Torquemada then turned his ferocity on Spain's Jews, forcing upon them the same grim choice-and, in the end, between 800,000 and two million Jews left their homeland.
The legacy of these atrocities is still with us: history suggests that mass anti-Semitism has its roots in the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, and some scholars have argued that the treatment of the Moors in the fifteenth century persists as a source of the animosity many Muslims harbour against the West today.
Reston's compelling narrative brings all the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition into a terrifyingly brutal focus. But Reston looks beyond the dark deeds of 1492 as well, capturing the excitement of exploration and promise of the furture that they were born in the same year. With an iron grip on the political and religious affairs of Spain, Ferdinand and Isabella turned their eyes toward the New World and the creation of a modern empire and toward a young sea captain named Christopher Columbus.