The Ornament of the World How Muslims Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain) [Pdf Download] ò María Rosa Menocal

  • Paperback
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  • The Ornament of the World How Muslims Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain
  • María Rosa Menocal
  • English
  • 24 September 2018
  • 9780316168717

María Rosa Menocal ✓ 2 Review

The Ornament of the World How Muslims Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain Review Ü PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Characters ↠ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ✓ María Rosa Menocal María Rosa Menocal ✓ 2 Review Undoing the familiar notion of the Middle Ages as a period of religious persecution and intellectual stagnation María Menocal now brings us a portrait of a medieval culture where literature science and tolerance flourished for 500 yearsThe story begins as a young prince in exile the last heir to an Islamic dynasty founds a new kingdom on the Iberian peninsula al. The ornament of the world is the famous description of Cordoba given to her readers by the tenth century Saxon writer Hroswitha who from her far off convent at Gandersheim perceived the exceptional ualities and the centrality of the Cordoban caliphate Mar a Rosa Menocal 1953 2012Cuban born scholar of medieval culture and history and Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University degrees from the University of Pennsylvania taught Romance philology at the University of Pennsylvania director of the Yale Whitney Humanities Center for several years co editor of The Literature of Al Andalus in the Cambridge History of Arabic Literature series elected a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America in 2011 and inducted into the Fellows of the Medieval Academy in March 2012 WikiThe book Forward first chapterThe book was published in 2002 with the subtitle How Muslims Jews and Christians created a culture of tolerance in medieval Spain Ironic in light of the happenings of the previous September to say nothing of the religious hatred and intolerance in the Middle East over the past many decades Harold Bloom in the Forward describes the book as a love song addressed to the Jewish Muslim and Christian mostly troubadour poets of what once we called the High Middle Ages He continuesI hesitate to nominate a single hero of the book Menocal s heart seems to belong to the warrior poet Samuel the Nagid who reinvented Hebrew poetry but I would vote for Ibn Hazm also a warrior poet but in Arabic whose The Neck Ring of the Dove a handbook on romantic love is also a monument to devastated Cordoba its great era forever past Menocal presents Ibn Hazm as a Don uixote holding on to an aesthetics an erotics and a cultural tradition unrecoverable but unforgettableHere I will try to summarize largely in Menocal s words the first chapter of the book in which she lays out her thesis of the significance of the Iberian peninsula to the history of Europe Beginnings Menocal begins her tale Once upon a time in the mid eighth century an intrepid young man named Abd al Rahman abandoned his home in Damascus the Near Eastern heartland of Islam and set out across the North African desert in search of a place of refuge Five years later Abd al Rahman reached today s Morocco the Maghrib to the Muslims from whence Abd s mother had been brought east There he found that his Berber kinsmen had pushed to the west and then the north across the Straights of Gibraltar into Iberia To there al Rahman followedWho was al Rahman and why did he leave Damascus He was a prince of the Umayyad branch of the Muslim religion the Umayyads who had first led the Muslims out of the desert of Arabia into the Fertile Crescent and who were the direct descendants of the Prophet In that mid eighth century in 750 exactly the Umayyads had been massacred in Syria by the rival Abbasid branch of the religion who had thus seized control of the empire called the House of Islam Abd al Rahman was essentially the sole survivorWhen the surviving prince of the Umayyads reached Iberia five years later he found a thriving and expansive Islamic settlement on the banks of the Big Wadi the river now known as the Guadaluivir The capital of the settlement was the old Roman city of Corduba renamed by its recent conuerers the Visigoths Khordoba These Arabic settlers were calling the land al Andalus Menocal relates how the arrival of this assumed dead Umayyad prince in the western settlement suddenly threw the politics of the region into turmoil The local emir offered al Rahman permanent refuge and his daughter s hand in marriage but al Rahman the successor to the Prophet and the supreme temporal and spiritual leader of the Islamic world could not be so easily bought off He assembled forces loyal to him both Syrians and Berbers of these western lands and defeated his would be father in law outside the walls of Cordoba in May 756 thus becoming the new governor of the westernmost province of the Islamic worldMenocal in the book tells the story of how this remarkable turn of events powerfully affected the course of European history and civilization Many aspects of the story are largely unknown and the extent of their continuing effects on the world around us is scarcely understood for numerous and complex reasons If we retell this story beginning with the narrative of that intrepid young man who miraculously evaded the annihilation of his line and migrated from Damascus to Cordoba which he then made over into his new homeland we end up with an altogether different vision of the fundamental parameters of Europe during the Middle Ages The story is about a genuine foundational European cultural moment that ualifies as first rate in the sense of F Scott Fitzgerald s wonderful formula from his essay The Crack Up namely that the test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time Much that was characteristic of medieval culture was profoundly rooted in the cultivation of complexities charms and challenges of contradictions of the yes and no as it was put by Peter Abelard the infamous twelfth century Parisian intellectual and Christian theologianFinally her method of telling this story she says will not be a retelling of the history of the Middle Ages or even that of medieval Spain Instead the book consists of miniature portraits that range widely in time and place and that are focused on cultural rather than political events they will it is hoped lay bare the vast distance between what the conventional histories and other general prejudices would have us expect that for example Christians saw the Muslim infidels as their mortal enemy and spent seven hundred years trying to drive them from Spain they highlight stories that point to some of the unknown depths of cultural tolerance and symbiosis in our heritage and they may begin to suggest a very different overall portrait of this middle ageThe rest of the bookFollowing Beginnings is a chapter called A Brief History of a First Rate Place This is the longest chapter in the book and is basically an introductory essay on the history of medieval Spain which serves as a background upon which Menocal hangs her portraits The chapter begins with the events that followed upon the death of Muhammad in 632 describes the expansion of Islam across North Africa and via converted Berbers of Morocco into Europe Spain in 711 and ends with the events of 1492 see portrait In the AlhambraThen come Menocal s portraits ranging in length from nine to eighteen pages This main section of the book has been given the title THE PALACES OF MEMORYEach portrait has a name and below that on the first page a general setting place year Three of the portraits have than a single section in which case each section has its own place setting but always a common year The portraits are all listed below along with a brief description of what s in them I m doing this because I think there are many people I know on Goodreads who might have specific interests in some of these portraits to say nothing of the entire book Also for a couple portraits I ve added a few personal comments The Mosue and the Palm Tree Cordoba 786Summary of the achievements of Abd al Rahman the relationship between the Franks and Islam in these early years alliances and fraternization between Muslims and Christians the building and expansion of the Great Mosue of Cordoba which continued until nearly the year 1000 several pages on poetry and the use of the Arabic language by Islam Mother Tongues Cordoba 855One of the main characters of the portrait is Paul Alvarus outspoken and widely respected Christian luminary of Cordoba topics include the use of Arabic and Latin at this time the Arabization of Christians the many languages used in Cordoba including both the Romance languages and the development of vernacular mother tongue languages and the tale of the fifty so called Mozarab martyrs who protested the gradual and peaceful conversion of their Christian and Latin world by blaspheming the Prophet the one thing forbidden by the Islamic ruler thus losing their heads and serving the purposes of generations of Christian chroniclers in future centuries A Grand Vizier a Grand City Cordoba 949The story of the caliph Abd al Rahman III the descendant of the original al Rahman during his reign 912 961 the Umayyad caliphate of Cordoba made the sweeping and plausible claim to absolute primacy within the House of Islam during his reign a man promoted higher and higher eventually to the prestigious and powerful office of foreign secretary to the calaiph a man who identified himself as Hasdai the son of Isaac the son of Ezra from the sons of the Jerusalem exile who now live in Sefarid a man who was the nasi the prince of his own Jewish religious community The Gardens of Memory Madinat al Zahra South of Cordoba 1009Madinat al Zahra the wonder city of the Umayyad caliphs built by Abd al Rahman III as part of his declaration of the caliphate destroyed in 1009 by Berber mercenaries who resented the claims of the Umayyads As a ruin it served for centuries as a romantic and complex touchstone an image of a once glorious Umayyad past Victorious in Exile The battlefield of Argona between Cordoba and Granada 1041The ascendency of Granada over Cordoba under the warrior poet Samuel Ishmael in Arabic his native tongue Shmuel in Hebrew the language in which he spoke to God known as Samuel the Najid the flight of the Jews of Cordoba many prosperous well educated from the highest classes of government and scholarship eventually settling in Granada Hebrew poetry Love and Its Songs Just West of Seville on the Road to Huelva August 1064Ibn Hazm an outstanding intellect in Andalusioian history one of the keenest minds the caliphate had ever produced dying in the backwater of Niebla after a lifetime spent defending the hopeless Umayyad cause of his four hundred books few remain his masterpiece love poem The Neck Ring of the DoveBarbastro in the Foothills of the Pyrenees on the Road to Saragosa August 1064Norman invasions of that same summer siege of Barbastro beginning of the period in which peoples on both sides of the Pyrenees had much contact usually of a military nature vernacular language singing Andalusian invention of ring songs The Church At the Top of the Hill Toledo 1085The Christian Reconuest of Toledo the church redesigned to commemorate the reconuest pays tribute through its architecture to the supplanted Islamic culture Toledo becomes the capital of the kingdom of Castile Ferdinand I Alfonso VI the fundamentalist Berber Almoravid dynasty invades the peninsula to aid their Muslim brethren Toledo the radiant intellectual capital of Europe a Christian city where Arabic remained a language of culture and learning An Andalusian in London Huesca 1106Huesca in Aragon the foothills of the Pyrenees Petrus Alfonsi an Arabized Jewish convert to Christianity becomes widely known for his book Disciplina clericalis loosely Priestly Tales the predecessor in his framed tale format to both Chaucer and Boccaccio likewise his Dialogue Against the Jews becomes the standard form for laying out the cases of the competing religions of medieval Europe Sailing Away Riding Away Alexandria 1140Judah Halevi the revered pillar of the Andalusian Jewish community and the most celebrated poet of his age arrives in Alexandria having chosen to exile himself from al Andalus the last of the Golden Age of Andalusian poets who had redeemed Hebrew from its profound exile locked inside temples never speaking about life itself some of the great works by Halevi Bookof the Khazars and his over eight hundred poems among which his gorgeous love songs to Jerusalem and Zion and his rousing Song of the Cid about Rodrigo Diaz as he prepares to ride into exile from the court of Alfonso VI The Abbot and the uran Cluny 1142Cluny France its famous abbey dating from the tenth century in 1142 one of the centers of the Latin Christian world with the largest church in Christendom the head abbot Peter the Venerable and the enfant terrible of the day Peter Abelard the Abbot s journey into Iberian Christian territories to find translators to work on the sacred book of the Muslims the first systematic Christian project to study Islam and the first translation of the uran into Latin Robert of Ketton Englishman living in Toledo turned out to be the man he was looking for Gifts a triple decker Sicily Cordoba Granada all in 1236Frederick II emperor of Sicily and one of his favorites Michael Scot physician astrologer necromancer translator of Arabic and Hebrew texts translation into Latin from Arabic in Cordoba Saint Ferdinand III king of Castile strikes a bargain with Muhammad ibn Yusuf ibn Nasr Nasr and his people 250 years worth of his descendants get Granada Ferdinand gets Cordoba Banned in Paris Paris 1277Paris the intellectual center of Europe in the thirteenth century the story of the commentaries written by the Cordoban Averroes exploding on Europe banned in Paris in 1210 but this genie was out of the bottle the old Aristotle nothing but a few books of the Organon translated by Boethius challenged by the arrival of the Arabic Aristotle from Cordoba where it had arrived many generations previously from Baghdad and the detailed line by line book by book limitless universe of the new Arabic Aristotle being taught in Paris increasingly as the century wears on despite prohibitions I found this portrait to be the most interesting in the book I had known something about Averroes and his contributions to the European understanding of Aristotle but to nowhere near the depth that Menocal gives even in these few fifteen pagesAlthough it is little remembered and its cultural setting little understood this moment of intellectual crisis in Paris was a watershed in Western cultural life At its heart lay the lifework of an Andalusian thinker Averroes as well as the whole intellectual and cultural complex of Islamic Spain Ironically by 1277 there was very little left of anything one could properly call Islamic Spain only the embattled corner that was Granada Yet its intellectual and cultural impact on the rest of Europe was in some ways reaching its peak perhaps nowhere than in the rooms where Parisian philosophers and theologians talked about what men thought and how men understood about what was truth and what was revelation the entire thrust of Averroes efforts and this was likewise the core of the work of his countryman and contemporary Maimonides was to establish a model for the relationship between philosophy which meant not just speculative thought on the one hand and theology or faith bound thought which accepted the teachings of Scripture and its official interpreters on the otherBy the way the portrait includes several pages on Maimonides Musa ibn Maymun Visions of Other Worlds Avila 1305Moses of Leon and his almost mythical manuscript Zohar the very heart and soul of the Jewish mystical tradition called Kabbalah Alfonso X the learned abandons Latin as the language into which the Arabic scientific and philosophical corpus is being translated in favor of the vernacular Castilian language Foreign Dignitaries at the Courts of Castile Seville Toledo 1364Ibn Khaldun the most influential philosopher of history to have written in Arabic his masterpiece Muaddimah Introduction to History now read alongside writers such as Vico and Gibbon Islamic architecture the use of the Great Mosue of Seville as a cathedral preserving most of it architecture of the Great Mosue and the new vogue in architecture arabesues the extravagantly ornamented buildings of the Alhambra Arabic writing as ornament and decoration Jewish as well as Christian incorporation of Islamic architecture and decorative Arabic writing In the Alhambra Granada 1492The Agreements of Capitulation secretly arranged between the last of the Granadan Nasrids and the Christian monarchs Ferdinand V and Isabella king and ueen of Castile in the fall of 1491 turning over Granada to the Castilian Christians within a fairly short time the triumphant monarchs abrogated their pledge to allow Muslims to openly practice their faith this followed in short order by the edict expelling all Jews from Christian SpainThis portrait a recounting of what probably every Spanish school child knows or should know is I believe known by few people in the US I cannot say that I knew about the suppression and expulsion of both Muslims and Jews from Spain in 1492 or at any rate gave them a choice of leaving or converting to Christianity In the US 1492 is of course looked on as a landmark year because Columbus discovered the Americas in that year Columbus sailed the ocean bluein fourteen hundred ninety two Just another example of the shallowness which limits an understanding of history To think instead how 1492 was from the point of view of those then inhabiting the Americas pretty much a disaster the title of the 1992 film 1492 Conuest of Paradise pretty well nails it but to think further how masses of people were expelled from Spain because of their religion well not a proud moment for Spain though I suppose many Spanish for a great number of generations believed it to be I have no idea what the view would be in Spain today Somewhere in La Mancha 1605Jews and Judaism in Toledo Cervantes Don uixote de la Mancha libraries book burnings the Muslim Moriscos and their Jewish counterparts the Conversos Cervantes masterpiece as it relates to this lamentable end to the Ornament of the WorldLast WordsOther stuff in the book a Postscript concerning 911 9 pages of suggestions for further reading a very useful Index three full page maps 8 pages of black and white photographsI reread parts of the book to construct the review and find that now I really wish to read again the entire book Previous review Young Lonigan James T FarrellRandom review Consciousness a Very Short IntroductionNext review The Periodic TablePrevious library review Iberia Spanish Travels ReflectionsNext library review Spain 1808 1975 Raymond Carr

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The Ornament of the World How Muslims Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain Review Ü PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Characters ↠ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ✓ María Rosa Menocal María Rosa Menocal ✓ 2 Review Tian monarchs forcibly converted executed or expelled non Catholics from Spain In this wonderful book we can finally explore the lost history whose legacy is still with us in countless ways Author Biography María Rosa Menocal is R Selden Rose Professor of Spanish and Portuguese and head of the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale University She lives in New Haven CT. Ornament of the World is a book about medieval era in Iberian peninsula Menocal starts the time at 750 right after the Abbasid massacre of the Umayyad dynasty in Syria and ends it around 1500 after the exile of Jews Muslims and convertos from the peninsula In the epilogue the timeline even stretches to the WWII and deliberate destruction of National Library in Sarajevo by Serbian Army During the 750 years of time studied we see the linguistic and cultural development in this part of europe As Al Andalus became the cultural melting pot of christians jews and muslims during the Umayyad rule starting with Abd al Rahman the cultural tolerance and dialectic created the right environment for the arts and sciences and philosophy to emerge and prosper The writer states The complex problem at the heart of the cultural history of medieval Europe was first and foremost how the great monotheistic religions of the Children of Abraham faiths that all have powerful strains of ferocity within them struggled to define what they were and what they might become When they managed to find it within themselves to be truly first rate admirable achievements followed and men like Samuel the Nagid rode the land and churches like San Roman were built and philosophers like Ibd Rushd were honored But when instead the centers of such tolerance did not hold irreparable destruction often followed from the eleventh century sacking of Madinat al Zahra by fundamentalist Berber troops to the fifteenth century tearing down of the old Almohad mosue that had served for so long as the cathedral of the Castilian monarchs in Seville What I enjoyed a lot in this book were information such as why we use OK the reason there are so many arabic words mostly related with sciences in English and latin Romance languages why masterpieces like the Spanish synagogue in Prague many gothic and medieval churches and cathedrals have these horseshoe shaped structures and have an exotic air to them Most impressively how a functional language can shape people s lives and thinking pattern and evolutionFrom Ibn Hazm to Bocaccio to CervantesThere are so many take home messages in this book especially the last 2 chapters and the epilogue are thought provoking

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The Ornament of the World How Muslims Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain Review Ü PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Characters ↠ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ✓ María Rosa Menocal María Rosa Menocal ✓ 2 Review Andalus Combining the best of what Muslim Jewish and Christian cultures had to offer al Andalus and its successors influenced the rest of Europe in dramatic ways from the death of liturgical Latin and the spread of secular poetry to remarkable feats in architecture science and technology The glory of the Andalusian kingdoms endured until the Renaissance when Chris. Idealism what we call uixotic idealism so vividly is it depicted by Cervantes is an act of the imagination and perhaps a doomed one and the uestion on the table becomes whether this is a good thing or a bad thing This is a book about nostalgia and nostalgia is a dangerous thing It s one of the tricks of our memory to filter the past through a sentimental lens forgetting all the bad and magnifying the good And when thinking about a time before we lived we run the risk not only of twisting the truth but of inventing it Ostensibly the book is about Al Andalus Muslim Spain from 711 to 1492 and specifically about the culture of tolerance that flourished during this period Menocal takes her title from a remark of Hroswitha the German canoness who called C rdoba the Ornament of the World after meeting with an ambassador Menocal does not however write a conventional chronological history but instead a series of vignettes from the time period Indeed her approach is much closer to that of a journalist than a historian picking out the most captivating personalities and focusing exclusively on them And even though these vignettes often contain lots of interesting information their primary aim is not to inform but to evoke Menocal writes in a dreamy wistful tone a style that is often seductive enough to deactivate the reader s critical facility The land and the people she describes sound so fantastic that you want to believe her And this as well as the lack of almost any scholarly apparatus makes me very suspicious It is hard to believe the book was written by a professor at Yale for it is uite explicitly propagandistic trying to counter the conventional view of the Middle Ages as backward and intolerant with a vivid portrait of an advanced integrated civilization Personally I agree with both her ideals of tolerance and her desire to acknowledge the accomplishments of Muslim Spain but this does not excuse a professor from the commitment to scholarship All the repression and barbarism that existed during the time period is waved away by Menocal s insistence that it was the work of foreigners either Berbers from the south or Christians from the north and everything positive is credited to Andalusian culture It would be hard to be partisan In short I have many reservations about recommending this book because I believe it wasn t written in good faith with scrupulous attention to facts but rather in the effort to influence the public s perception of Al Andalus through storytelling True all scholarship is somewhat biased but to paraphrase Stephen Jay Gould using this fact to excuse extreme bias is like saying that since a perfectly antiseptic operating room is impossible we should just perform surgeries in the sewer Keeping the bias in mind however this book can be profitably read There is a lot of fascinating information in these pages Indeed I recently revisited Toledo to see some of the things Menocal mentioned such as Santa Maria la Blanca a beautiful synagogue built in a Moorish style And I do think that the story of syncretism tolerance and collaboration in Muslim Spain should be told especially during this era of Islamophobia It is too easy to forget how crucial the history of Islam is to the history of the West if the two histories can indeed be separated at all Menocal s emphasis on the architecture the poetry and especially the translations of the Greek philosophers by Muslim and Jewish scholars counters the common stereotypes of the Muslims as intolerant destroyers What s I fully understand how Menocal could be swept away in nostalgic awe after seeing the Mezuita in C rdoba or the Alhambra in Granada that the people who made those amazing structures could disappear is hard to fathom Still even though I agree with Menocal s goals I don t agree with her means The bright rosy structure is built on too flimsy a foundation Propaganda is a bad long term strategy because when people realize they are being manipulated they grow resentful Much better would have been a balanced sourced and footnoted book acknowledging both the good and the bad The society Menocal so effusively praised was undeniably great the best way to praise is simply to describe it The worst aspect of Menocal s approach is that it didn t allow her to say anything insightful about how tolerance arose And this is important to know since creating a tolerant society is one of the omnipresent challenges of the modern world Dune vividly is it depicted by Cervantes is an act of the imagination and perhaps a doomed one and the uestion on the table becomes whether this is a good thing or a bad thing This is a book about nostalgia and nostalgia is a dangerous thing It s one of the tricks of our memory to filter the past through a sentimental lens forgetting all the bad and magnifying the good And when thinking about a time before we lived we run the risk not only of twisting the truth but of inventing it Ostensibly the book is about Al Andalus Muslim Spain from 711 to 1492 and specifically about the culture of tolerance that flourished during this period Menocal takes her title from a remark of Hroswitha the German canoness who called C rdoba the Ornament of the World after meeting with an ambassador Menocal does not however write a conventional chronological history but instead a series of Tehanu vignettes from the time period Indeed her approach is much closer to that of a journalist than a historian picking out the most captivating personalities and focusing exclusively on them And even though these A Tradition of Victory vignettes often contain lots of interesting information their primary aim is not to inform but to evoke Menocal writes in a dreamy wistful tone a style that is often seductive enough to deactivate the reader s critical facility The land and the people she describes sound so fantastic that you want to believe her And this as well as the lack of almost any scholarly apparatus makes me Monstruos como nosotros Historias de freaks colosos y prodigios very suspicious It is hard to believe the book was written by a professor at Yale for it is uite explicitly propagandistic trying to counter the conventional Drunken Fireworks view of the Middle Ages as backward and intolerant with a Angels Flight vivid portrait of an advanced integrated civilization Personally I agree with both her ideals of tolerance and her desire to acknowledge the accomplishments of Muslim Spain but this does not excuse a professor from the commitment to scholarship All the repression and barbarism that existed during the time period is waved away by Menocal s insistence that it was the work of foreigners either Berbers from the south or Christians from the north and everything positive is credited to Andalusian culture It would be hard to be partisan In short I have many reservations about recommending this book because I believe it wasn t written in good faith with scrupulous attention to facts but rather in the effort to influence the public s perception of Al Andalus through storytelling True all scholarship is somewhat biased but to paraphrase Stephen Jay Gould using this fact to excuse extreme bias is like saying that since a perfectly antiseptic operating room is impossible we should just perform surgeries in the sewer Keeping the bias in mind however this book can be profitably read There is a lot of fascinating information in these pages Indeed I recently revisited Toledo to see some of the things Menocal mentioned such as Santa Maria la Blanca a beautiful synagogue built in a Moorish style And I do think that the story of syncretism tolerance and collaboration in Muslim Spain should be told especially during this era of Islamophobia It is too easy to forget how crucial the history of Islam is to the history of the West if the two histories can indeed be separated at all Menocal s emphasis on the architecture the poetry and especially the translations of the Greek philosophers by Muslim and Jewish scholars counters the common stereotypes of the Muslims as intolerant destroyers What s I fully understand how Menocal could be swept away in nostalgic awe after seeing the Mezuita in C rdoba or the Alhambra in Granada that the people who made those amazing structures could disappear is hard to fathom Still even though I agree with Menocal s goals I don t agree with her means The bright rosy structure is built on too flimsy a foundation Propaganda is a bad long term strategy because when people realize they are being manipulated they grow resentful Much better would have been a balanced sourced and footnoted book acknowledging both the good and the bad The society Menocal so effusively praised was undeniably great the best way to praise is simply to describe it The worst aspect of Menocal s approach is that it didn t allow her to say anything insightful about how tolerance arose And this is important to know since creating a tolerant society is one of the omnipresent challenges of the modern world