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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.
"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."
, 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."
, National Review