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The Spanish Inquisition Paperback – 1 Apr 1964

1.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (1 April 1964)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393002551
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393002553
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,855,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

The long series of events leading up to the establishment of the Inquisition and the following three and a half centuries of torment that spread from Spain to Portugal and even to the New World are here documented by Cecil Roth of Oxford, one of the world's great authorities on Jewish history.

About the Author

Roth is a noted historian, and the author of numerous Jewish historical titles.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I bought this book looking for a good overview of the return of the Church to Spain. What I found was an attack on the Catholic Church claiming anti-Semetism. While I'm sure this was part of what was going on, I am looking for an overview of political and social tensions in the region which ended up being the scene of many trials and "conversions." By completely overlooking other religions (especially the expulsion of the Muslems)and persecutions thereof, this book is heavily biased and reeks of revisionist tendencies.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book to be boring from the minute I began reading it. The entire idea behind it was one-sided, and it was very hard to follow. What should have taken him about 150 pages to describe, it took twice as much. In conclusion, I found that this book really shed no light on what I already knew before. Thanks a lot Cecil Roth!!!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.4 out of 5 stars 14 reviews
50 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid if unspectacular history of the Spanish Inquistion 20 July 2002
By Robert Moore - Published on
Format: Paperback
If one is looking for a solid history of the Spanish Inquisition that will introduce the reader with the main events and features of that peculiar institution, one could do worse than read this book. One could also do better, by looking instead at Peters INQUISITION or Henry Kammen's THE SPANISH INQUISITION. But since neither of those books is perfect (Peters covers the Inquisition in all its forms, and as a result the Spanish Inquisition in less detail, while Kammen tends to minimize some of the atrocities), Roth remains an extremely viable alternative.
The strongpoint of Roth's account is the clarity with which he tells the story, in particular highlighting some of the consequences that ought to have been anticipated from the manner in which the Inquisition was constructed. For instance, the Inquisition acquired the financial holdings of those whom it convicted of heresy. This, of course, provided the Inquisitors with powerful financial motivation to either find the accused guilty or to extort money from them.
The weakness of Roth's book is that while he hints at other views about events of the Inquisition, he never explains what these other views are, or what the underlying issues are.
I am utterly mystified by one reviewer who seems to criticize this book because it accuses the Church of anti-Semitism. Is this news? The entire initial point of the Spanish Inquisition was to ferret out Jews who had forcibly been converted to Catholicism and still retained their Jewish beliefs and ceremonies. I am not sure how this cannot be interpreted anti-Semitism, unless one is using some very unusual criteria. Morever, scholars working in a number of areas have detected a fair degree of anti-Semitism in the history of Roman Catholicism. Does this mean that all Roman Catholics in history have been anti-Semites? Absolutely not. But it does mean that it is a phenomenon that has reappeared over and over throughout European history. What possible reason would anyone have for denying that the Spanish Inquisition was not profoundly anti-Semitic? That it was would seem to undeniable to anyone with even the most cursory acquaintance with Spanish history.
Other reviewers have felt that Roth is merely out to criticize the Catholic Church. Simply because he critiques one aspect of the Catholic Church doesn't mean that he would find nothing of value within Catholicism. Roth was himself Jewish, so he was not writing from within the Catholic tradition. But I can't understand why someone writing from within the tradition couldn't arrive at an assessment very close to that of Roth's.
So, while this isn't the best book on the Spanish Inquisition (indeed, no clearly best book would seem to exist currently), this is a very adequate survey of the subject.
19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, a book on the Jewish Experience in Iberia 8 Oct. 2002
By Alfassa - Published on
Format: Paperback
Dr. Cecil Roth [1899-1970] has put out numerous books on the topic of the Jews. He was educated in Great Britain, and lived both abroad and in the United States. He was a foremost authority on the history of world Jewry. In this book, Dr. Cecil Roth documents the long series of events leading up to the Inquisition and the three-and-a-half centuries of torment that comprise this bloody epic of human history. It is done objectify, but with a candor and wit which is regrettably deficient by writers of today. The book covers the origins of the Spanish inquisition in both Spain and Portugal, as well as how it spread to the New World. The reliable author talks of the Muslims who were forced to convert, and the Protestants who suffered under the hand of the Catholic Church. The book covers the period of time from the expulsion of 1492, to the early 20th century. This book was written in 1933. If there is one book on the Jewish expereince in Iberia you desire, this is it.
20 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Spanish Inquisition based on the EDICT OF FAITH 23 Sept. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Don't be carried away by emotion or the ecstacy of religious zeal when reading about the Inquisition. It was real! Check the bibliography. Other reviewers totally overlooked in the book the significance of the EDICT OF FAITH quoted by the author (not of his making). Two other works should be read before criticizing this one; THE SPANIARDS, by Americo Castro (search under the author's name), and THE MALLEUS MALLIFICARUM, found by title. I recommend prospective readers read the reviews of these works first, and then decide if Mr. Roth's descriptions are extreme. A less direct method would be to read THE CAPTAIN FROM CASTILE (see the review in, a novel based on fact, but with a fictitious cast of characters and the expected amount of fantasy. History poses a problem because it can inflame the mind unless one respects that what is past may no longer be true, at least in the same sense.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Vatican will hate it but will not be able to have Cecil Roth burned alive at the stake. Not any more. 5 Dec. 2015
By Jaysonrex - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book, like so many others focusing on the same topic, details once again what the Catholic Church is all about: a gang of shameless criminals with the Pope as its "Don Corleone" and the Roman Curia as the Mafia Main Gang, that use anti-Semitism as the only 'excuse' for its existence.

The Spanish Inquisition was nothing more than an attempt by the Vatican to steal the wealth of Spanish Jews under the guise of religion - all in the name of Jesus (Joshua in Aramaic), the Jewish itinerant preacher who was used as an excuse by a bunch of smart guys, avid for power and money, headed by Paul and his sidekick Peter, to invent a new religion.

As everybody knows, the day Christianity abandons anti-Semitism it will simply implode and disappear. There is not much more to be said about the most shameless BS ever rammed down the throats of innocent humans.

Enjoy the book.

I recommend this book to all those honest people that are looking for the truth as a guiding light.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written, highly recommended. 15 July 2000
By Bruce Baumbush - Published on
Format: Paperback
I bought this book for an overview of the history of the Inquisition, and one reason I selected it was because of the date it was written (1937), only about a hundred years after the end of the Inquisition. Roth's research in non-trivial. Of particular interest are the appendices which contain an actual record of a specific trial and a "Lista" of 1731.
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