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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.
3 people found this helpful
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on 1 April 2018
Maybe it's me, but although I am interested in the topic, I found this book so boring I couldn't finish it.
Somehow it reads like a summary of dates and who fought whom and who succeeded whom and I just got lost in them all.
I can't remember a single name or date now, though I do vaguely remember the king/warlord who fought first his brothers, then his nephews, then his great-nephews!
I would have liked more about culture and what life was like for a range of people, rather than just rulers and battles.
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on 2 February 2017
Spain is a fascinating country, and the story of Al-Andalus is a fascinating and important part of its history. The story of Al-Andalus is a complicated one, with many characters and groups bearing unfamiliar names weaving in and out of the tale. It is hard for a writer to maintain the reader's interest in that context, and this book does it extremely well. I learned a lot, and enjoyed doing so. Highly recommended.
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on 11 August 2014
Excellent throughout. The most comprehensive, balanced and thorough single book on the topic. This even though sometimes summarizes tremendous amount of information over a few lines and some chapters (particularly the last one on the Moriscos and their final demise) is really dense and packed with information.
2 people found this helpful
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on 19 August 2014
Fascinating period of history which is not widely touched upon in European history books. Makes one realise how much not only Spain but also Islam have changed.
One person found this helpful
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on 8 May 2016
A look back at the moors time in Spain : the in fighting between many clans n their eventual expulsion
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on 11 November 2015
Very comprehensive book on the subject and very well illustrated.
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on 28 January 2016
Really good book explaining the history of Spain. Read it prior to a visit to the area.
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on 29 January 2015
Full of information. A good choice.
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on 17 July 2016
Excellent study of a formative period in Spanish history.
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