God's Crucible by David Levering Lewis
Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215

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"A furiously complex age; a powerful narrative."--New York Times Book Review, Editor's Choice

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. Some images in the ebook are not displayed owing to permissions issues.

About David Levering Lewis

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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.
Published January 12, 2009 by W. W. Norton & Company. 384 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Religion & Spirituality, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

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Indeed, Lewis demonstrates beautifully, if the Franks under Charles Martel hadn’t turned back the more enlightened Muslim invaders at Poitiers in 732, the continent might have been spared becoming “an economically retarded, balkanized, fratricidal Europe that, in defining itself in opposition to ...

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The New York Times

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David Levering Lewis’s history of Arab rule in Spain focuses on its ethic of mutuality.

Jan 06 2008 | Read Full Review of God's Crucible: Islam and the...

Publishers Weekly

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Meanwhile, the virtually powerless Roman popes joined forces with ambitious Frankish leaders, from Pippin the Short to Charlemagne, to create the template for feudal Europe: a “religiously intolerant, intellectually impoverished, socially calcified, and economically primitive” society.” The colla...

Oct 15 2007 | Read Full Review of God's Crucible: Islam and the...

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