Countering the assumption of the Middle Ages as stagnant and prejudiced, Menocal explores the diverse, flourishing world of Muslim Spain. I was fascinated by the cultural exchange between Muslims, Christians, and Jews that nourished such unique art, poetry, philosophy, and architecture. Beautiful history writing with a hopeful message.
This classic bestseller — the inspiration for the PBS series — is an "illuminating and even inspiring" portrait of medieval Spain that explores the golden age when Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived together in an atmosphere of tolerance (Los Angeles Times).
This enthralling history, widely hailed as a revelation of a "lost" golden age, brings to vivid life the rich and thriving culture of medieval Spain, where for more than seven centuries Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived together in an atmosphere of tolerance, and where literature, science, and the arts flourished.
"It is no exaggeration to say that what we presumptuously call 'Western' culture is owed in large measure to the Andalusian enlightenment...This book partly restores a world we have lost." —Christopher Hitchens, The Nation
"It is no exaggeration that what we presumptuously call 'Western' culture is owed in large measure to the Andalusian enlightenment...This book partly restores to us a world we have lost."—Christopher Hitchens, The Nation
"Engaging and accessible...This study of medieval Spain shows that a powerful Islamic society and its committed Christian opponents were once capable of contending in arms, for mastery of a rich territory, without losing their sense of mutual respect...It is a valuable contribution."—Stephen Schwartz, National Review