Infidels : A history of the conflict between Christendom and Islam

Author(s): Andrew Wheatcroft

Middle East Conflicts

How did we learn to hate or despise? Simply, because we were taught to. In 638, the Christian Patriarch of the holy city of Jerusalem called the Muslim Caliph's presence an abomination in the sight of God. Christians and Muslims have since regarded each other warily and have silently thought of each other as "infidels". This work traces the long history of this troubled relationship. It was a campaign without end, waged with the pen, through the printing press, by the power of the human voice and on subtle and insidious suggestions within paintings, drawings and engravings. We also see how and why a battle is still being waged today, through the press and books, television, radio and the Internet.


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Praise for Infidels "Islam is a power that rose, fell, and rose again. All who wish to know the story will need to read Andrew Wheatcroft's compelling work."--JOHN KEEGAN "Wheatcroft has written an excellent and truly remarkable book. He reminds us of something vital, and too often forgotten: Most of those who were 100 percent sure that the infidels--call them Saracens, Agarenes, Ishmaelites, or Turks--were completely savage and barbarous had never met or seen a Saracen or a Turk in their lives. Somehow they just knew that these aliens should be hated and feared. As a promoter of dialogue between East and West, I agree with Wheatcroft--that unfortunately, now just as much as in the past, it is media outlets and the spreading of false knowledge that promote hostility."--HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE EL HASSAN BIN TALAL OF JORDAN "Rattling good reading . . . [Wheatcroft's] humane conclusion is admirable."--FELIPE FERNANDEZ-ARMESTO, The Sunday Times (London) "Gripping, often blood-curdling, history. . . recounted with tremendous literary flair."--JOHN ADAMSON, The Sunday Telegraph (London)

Andrew Wheatcroft was educated at St John's school, Leatherhead, Christ's College Cambridge, and the University of Madrid. He is the author of many books on early modern and modern history, and most recently The Ottomans (1995) and The Habsburgs (1996). He has been researching Infidels for more than 17 years. He is the Director of The Centre for Publishing Studies and also teaches English at the University of Stirling. He lives near Moffat in Dumfriesshire, Scotland.

Part 1: "We praise thee, O God" - Lepanto 1571; first contact. Part 2: Al-Andalus; "the jewel of the world"; eternal Spain; "vile weeds" - Malas Hierbas. Part 3: to the Holy Land; conquest and reconqest. Part 4: Balkan ghosts?; learning to hate; "a broad line of blood". Part 5: "Turban'd and scimitar'd"; the black art. Conclusion: "Maledicta" - words of hate.

General Fields

  • : 9780140257380SECA
  • : Penguin Books Ltd
  • : Penguin Books Ltd
  • : May 2004
  • : 199mm X 129mm X 34mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Paperback
  • : 297.283
  • : 536
  • : 8pp colour illustrations, 16pp b&w illustrations, maps, bibliography, index
  • : Andrew Wheatcroft