Monday, July 8, 2013

God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215 by David Levering Lewis.

God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215 by David Levering Lewis.  Hardcover book published by W.W. Norton 2008, 476 pages with some black and white and colour photographs and illustrations, as well as a few black and white maps.

I am currently reading a completely different book to this one, but looking at this title and it’s subject matter has reminded of the other book.  “Microcosm: A Portrait of a Central European City” by Norman Davies, looks at the history of Wrocław in Poland from it’s earliest known history to it’s latest.  Now, I don’t remember the dates or who was in control at the time etc etc, but I do remember reading that more than once the people of central Europe and Wrocław, fought against the “Turks” and the Mongols.  I can’t help but think that the term “Turks”, may have been used as a broader term to describe the followers of Islam… of course I could be wrong and the invading “Turks” may have been as Turkish as you could possibly be at that time in history.  So when I considered this book and its subject matter for this blog, I was reminded of the book I am currently reading. 

“God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215” has nothing (or next to nothing) to do with Poland and everything to do with Western Europe.  Interestingly one of the things Norman Davies discusses in his book is that there seems to be a strong preference for the histories of Western Europe and little interest in the histories of Central Europe.  This book is a good example of another Western European history.  That doesn’t mean that it’s not important or not “of interest”.  Of course it is.  History is history and to varying degrees depending on who you are, it is “of interest”.  I guess having just read Normans comments, I can’t help but compare the two books, even though this book is about a completely different subject and the other book has only brief mentions of conflict with the “Turks” and realistically this book is not a book about Central Europe, but still, it’s something to think/write about.

I currently have God’s Crucible for sale on ebay and sadly, there appears to be very little interest in this title.  I’d even go so far as to write that history books in general excluding local subjects, appear to have very little interest on ebay.  Shop sales on these subjects are marginally better, but overall I’m finding that history, particularly European and Asian History, holds very little interest for the second hand book buying public on the interwebs and here in Clunes.  Personally, I mostly find this stuff fascinating and find it hard to understand why others don’t.  


  1. Isn't the author of Microcosm Norman Davis, not Paul Davies?
    God's Crucible is a great read!

  2. Hi there,
    Yes, it's Norman Davies. Thanks for pointing this out, it was my mistake. I have gone back and corrected the error.
    All the best