• The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise

  • Muslims, Christians, and Jews Under Islamic Rule in Medieval Spain
  • By: Dario Fernandez Morera
  • Narrated by: Bob Souer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (467 ratings)

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The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise  By  cover art

The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise

By: Dario Fernandez Morera
Narrated by: Bob Souer
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Publisher's summary

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
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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43 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Too Little Content and a Bit Polemic

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Not really. It's not that the book didn't have some useful content - it's just that it could have been said in 25-50 pages. The books was also too polemic for my comfort - I do actually agree with his view of Andalusia (for the same reasons, most of which I already knew) but I am distrustful of books out to prove a premise, even if the premise is correct. I understand he was writing to show why current academia is wrong on this, but I still prefer a truth seeking book, not an "I'm going to prove you wrong" presentation. Although I wouldn't call this an anti-Muslim book, it will be interpreted as such because of the way it is written, since we are in a time and culture where consigning everything Islamic to hell on earth is common.

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28 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Authoritative

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!

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27 people found this helpful

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Historian(MA student) Approved

I had purchased this book a good while before I started listening to it and a physical copy even before that. It wasn’t until after a professor in one of my graduate classes on the British Empire in India asked the class about the “reconquest” of Spain while we were discussing the “western bias” in history that I started listening to it. Even after I answered him by saying we call it a reconquest because the Spaniards did reconquer Spain and Portugal after being invaded by the Moors he dismissed my answer by implying that the Spaniards had no more right to Spain then the Moors did. That what the Spanish did was not a reconquest but a conquest plain and simple. That trying to add the justification of the Spanish retaking their homeland was little more then a invention of western history to make the White Christians the heroes and the Brown Muslims the villains. I never for a second believed a word of what my professor was trying to convince me of, and I only wish I had read this book sooner so as to have been better equipped to fully rebut his egregious claims.

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25 people found this helpful

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Courageous book

The reader was superlative. And I've heard a lot if audio books. And the book is an act of intellectual courage.

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22 people found this helpful

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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.

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18 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Smashes myths

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.


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17 people found this helpful

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  • Z
  • 09-25-16

Great book!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

It tells the truth of the myth that was Córdoba. The author uses actual sources from Muslim, Christian and Jewish scholars and eyewitness accounts.

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15 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Superb

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.

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13 people found this helpful

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Fantastic read!

This book is an extremely well written, well cited, and informative look at an often misrepresented chapter of history.

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11 people found this helpful