Customer Review

24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but very biased, 12 Dec 2009
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This review is from: Empires of the Sea: The Final Battle for the Mediterranean, 1521-1580 (Paperback)
This book is well written and it has been extensively researched. The narrative is engaging and dynamic, making it an enjoyable read. My only objection is the evident bias of the author who constantly praises the Ottoman Empire and its rulers and ridicules and belittles the Christian side to the point of describing the victories at Malta and Lepanto as "fluke".

He also constantly tries to put at the same level the atrocities committed on the civilian population, when it is evident who was the aggressor at the time. The suffering of the tens thousands of Christian civilians captured and sold as slaves during the period does not prompt any criticism, whilst there is plenty for the Spaniards for the expulsion of the Moors.

It is also interesting how he does not make any comments about Islam as a religion but is not shy to criticise
Popes Pius IV and V, making rather disparaging remarks and ridiculing their motives and their faith.

Fortunately this will be very apparent to the reader and once the unbalanced comments are ignored, the book provides a thrilling read and brings back to life some of the most important characters of the Renaissance.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Jan 2010 12:01:29 GMT
Last edited by the author on 25 Jan 2010 12:04:03 GMT
Grr says:
From my digital copy of Crowley's book, he does indeed use the word "fluke" twice on the Siege of Malta and the Battle of Lepanto respectively. But in the first instance it was to describe the unopposed landing of Don Garcia's force as a fluke. In the second on Lepanto, he states not as his opinion but that the victory has since been "labelled on the Christian side" as a fluke. In neither case does he specifically state it as his opinion, as you claim, that the "victories" were a "fluke".
Why do you misrepresent him in this way? Whether from a careless reading of the text, or whether, as seems more likely, you are deliberately being untruthful, it is your bias and your agenda which is showing.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Mar 2010 12:30:12 GMT
Well i think the original reviewers charge of bias is correct, although I may not put it so strongly. There is a lot more criticism of the Christian side than the Muslims one.

I will take your word about the use of "fluke", however his account of the battle of Malta seemed somewhat begrudging compared to his praise of Muslim operations. Also a lot of the details clashed with other reports I had read eg Bradford's book, mainly on issues of the Knights tactics and levels of preparation. Essentially when there was deviation it was in favour of the Ottomans.
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