God's Crucible: Islam And The Making Of Europe 570 To 1215 by David Levering LewisGod's Crucible: Islam And The Making Of Europe 570 To 1215 by David Levering Lewis

God's Crucible: Islam And The Making Of Europe 570 To 1215

byDavid Levering Lewis

Paperback | December 23, 2008

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At the beginning of the eighth century, the Arabs brought a momentous revolution in power, religion, and culture to Dark Ages Europe. David Levering Lewis's masterful history begins with the fall of the Persian and Roman empires, followed by the rise of the prophet Muhammad and the creation of Muslim Spain. Five centuries of engagement between the Muslim imperium and an emerging Europe followed, from the Muslim conquest of Visigoth Hispania in 711 to Latin Christendom's declaration of unconditional warfare on the Caliphate in 1215. Lewis's narrative, filled with accounts of some of the greatest battles in world history, reveals how cosmopolitan, Muslim al-Andalus flourished--a beacon of cooperation and tolerance between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity--while proto-Europe, defining itself in opposition to Islam, made virtues out of hereditary aristocracy, religious intolerance, perpetual war, and slavery. A cautionary tale, God's Crucible provides a new interpretation of world-altering events whose influence remains as current as today's headlines.
David Levering Lewis is a University Professor at New York University. Both volumes of his biography of W. E. B. Du Bois received the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in New York City.
Title:God's Crucible: Islam And The Making Of Europe 570 To 1215Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.9 inPublished:December 23, 2008Publisher:WW NortonLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0393333566

ISBN - 13:9780393333565


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sheds new light Sheds light on a part of European history often forgotten about by those outside of Spain. The narrative was very well laid out and I very much enjoyed Lewis's writing style. He often expands on the various historical figures - both Middle-eastern and European - making you feel more connected to the struggles and tensions between peoples. To me the book read more like a tale than a scholarly work. I highly recommend it to the history buffs.
Date published: 2013-02-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Different viewpoint of European History! Thought this was going to be a slog of a read but wound up being quite interesting. Not that many publications in the west have been provided telling of the impact of Muslim Spain on the birth of European essence as magnified in the persona of Charlemagne and his successors. The book offers fascinating glimpses into the life of Al-Andalus and how it differed from the rudimentary Frankish north. The book would have been more complete if the author offered us a picture on how the wider Muslim world felt as their empire on the Iberian Peninsula began to crumble. A chapter til the final fall of Granada in 1492 would have brought the book over the top. Only criticism is the author's often inaccessible academic prose and his habit of dropping names and places that the average history reader may not be familiar with. Nevertheless this is a great read for those interested in Muslim and Spanish culture.
Date published: 2010-03-03

Editorial Reviews

“A wonderfully interesting contribution.” — Amartya Sen