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
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.
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
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.
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.
It tells the truth of the myth that was Córdoba. The author uses actual sources from Muslim, Christian and Jewish scholars and eyewitness accounts.
"An inconvenient truth"
Full of information and enjoyable narrative. A must for those who have hunger for truth over fairy tales.
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