Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
on 9 February 2014
I find that most books written about Spain tend to cover its years of Greatness from the 1500's and the Civil War in the 20th century.
This is the story of Islamic Spain and the events leading up to the conquest and why it happened, the struggle with the various factions within Islam and the rise to greatness of the Umayyad Dynasty in 8th/9th centuries and the reasons why this civilization flourished (trade, medicine, architecture and agriculture) before the gradual decay and fragmentation of the Moors and the reconquest by the Christians and the debt that Spain owes to its Islamic period.
The author covers the topics mentioned above with a clear eye for detail along with a very readable account of what and why it happened and the tragic story of how this proud culture that was subsumed within a zealous and unforgiving society that succeeded it by the late 15th century.
A really good read.