Scholars, journalists, and politicians uphold Muslim-ruled medieval Spain - "al-Andalus" - as a multicultural paradise, a place where Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived in harmony.
There is only one problem with this widely accepted account: It is a myth.
In this groundbreaking book, Northwestern University scholar Darío Fernández-Morera tells the full story of Islamic Spain. The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise shines light on hidden features of this medieval culture by drawing on an abundance of primary sources that scholars have ignored, as well as archaeological evidence only recently unearthed.
As professors, politicians, and pundits continue to celebrate Islamic Spain for its "multiculturalism" and "diversity", Fernández-Morera sets the record straight - showing that a politically useful myth is a myth nonetheless.
©2016 Darío Fernández-Morera (P)2016 Tantor
17th Century Lady
Brilliant, engaging, and meticulously researched, this book ought to be required reading in high schools and for any adult who wishes to be more knowledgeable about the true Islamic impact on Spain.
Excellent book by anyone interested in Spanish, European and medieval history. Reading a tad mechanical but clear. The history as it should be told, based on evidence.
Referencing a vast collection of Muslim, Christian and Jewish sources past and present the author clarifies Islam as an ideology of conquest whose ultimate expression in armed Jihad and goal quite literally world domination expressed explicitly in the Quran and numerous Hadith. Contrary to fashionable whimsical contemporary academic analysis the Muslim conquest of Spain.and its subsequent rule was brutal and uncompromising designed foremost to uphold the supremacy of Arab Muslims over its conquered subjects, prevent them "contaminating" Islam and extort from them protection money in the form of special taxes - all practices mandated by the Quran and upheld by Islam to this day.
A scholarly work, tedious in the execution and read very badly. Makes use of 20 examples when a couple would do. Rigorous scholarship. Yawn
It tells the truth of the myth that was Córdoba. The author uses actual sources from Muslim, Christian and Jewish scholars and eyewitness accounts.
The reader was superlative. And I've heard a lot if audio books. And the book is an act of intellectual courage.
Absolutely dripping with concrete, reliable and unapologetic facts that shed needed attention to Islamic Spain. Dario gives no quarters as he unveils the numerous a-historic "scholar's" views and statements around the topic going from the 8-15th century that either mislead or deliberately lie on behalf of the Muslim rulers or shame the Christian victims.
So refreshing to not be force feed lies! Recommend highly!
"I should have known better all along. "
I have been a casual student of Greek, Roman and Islamic history for a long time and nothing documented here was a surprise to me. What was surprising is I never bothered to deliberately connect the obvious dots for the relevant picture of Spain! For example, I was aware Spain at the time of the conquest was ruled by Visigothic aristocracy of several centuries duration. I also knew Arab and Berber forces displaced them.
What I failed to appreciate was the Arabs and Berbers were several orders of magnitude lower on the barbarian scrotum pole then the aristocracy they replaced. If not for the reconquest Spain today would be culturally North African. Think Algeria.
PS: I seldom buy a book rated below 4.4 and in this case consulted Goodreads because so few ratings have been made so far. Goodreads generally runs about one half point lower then Audible and this book had 4.4 That is one of the highest ratings I have ever seen there.
Even freedom lovers have been fooled that there was freedom in Spain that the inquisitor Reonquistas ruined. Their heirs razed American civilizations and stole their wealth. Now we know that if they had a model for conquest, rule and run, it was Islam. That alone created the dark ages, more barbaric and totalitarian than the barbarians. Who were the Visigoths? You will know when you finish and what happened to them including the persecutions. There was little freedom, no women's liberation, but there was plenty of slavery.
"The real history."
No islamic apology or whitewash here. The author has used primary spanish sources and contrasted them to current comments by multicultural islamic apologists. An interesting and detailed exposition.
Since the aftermath of the 9/11/2001 attacks, it's been a struggle finding honest scholars and authors on the religion and the history of Islam. But for these few courageous authors, how are we to understand the history and ideology that has led to contemporary events in Israel, the greater Middle East and North Africa; in Europe and America? Professor Dario Fernandez Morera's book is a scholarly and at times technical but easy enough reading. There is best-selling and popular author Robert Spencer whose books are read by a wide audience, available here at Audible. I highly recommend both authors.
"An Axe to Grind"
This is an unfortunate byproduct of revisionist history. The author clearly wants to discredit the great Islamic empire using flimsy evidence and ignoring the sources that go against his own agenda.
"more an essay than a history book"
very stilted writing with an obscure reference every other sentence. not easy to listen to.
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