Revisionist History Reviewed

Anyone who enjoys a well-written book review ought to read Joan Acocella’s piece on God’s Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570 to 1215 by David Levering Lewis in the February 4, 2008 issue of The New Yorker. It is an excellent, even treatment of the subject matter, the author’s writing style, and the current trend in revisionist history (Lewis’s hypothesis is that more of Europe could have benefited from Islamic rule, as they had the superior civilization). I confess to being partial to Charlemagne in his dealings with the Saracens, so I’m not likely to be swayed by Lewis’s argument. I was completely bowled over by Acocella’s review, though!

Roland sounding his horn during the Battle of Roncesvalles


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