Military history

Infidels: A History of the Conflict Between Christendom and Islam

Infidels: A History of the Conflict Between Christendom and Islam

Here is the first panoptic history of the long struggle between the Christian West and Islam.

A stunning account of the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, then turns to the main zones of conflict: Spain, from which the descendants of the Moors were eventually expelled; the Middle East, where Crusaders and Muslims clashed for years; and the Balkans, where distant memories spurred atrocities even into the twentieth century. Throughout, Wheatcroft delves beneath stereotypes, looking incisively at how images, ideas, language, and technology (from the printing press to the Internet), as well as politics, religion, and conquest, have allowed each side to demonize the other, revive old grievances, and fuel across centuries a seemingly unquenchable enmity. Finally, Wheatcroft tells how this fraught history led to our present maelstrom. We cannot, he argues, come to terms with today’s perplexing animosities without confronting this dark past.


Part I

Chapter 1. “We Praise Thee, O God”: Lepanto, 1571

Chapter 2. First Contact

Part II

Chapter 3. Al-Andalus

Chapter 4. “The Jewel of the World”

Chapter 5. Eternal Spain

Chapter 6. “Vile Weeds”: Malas Hierbas

Part III

Chapter 7. To the Holy Land

Chapter 8. Conquest and Reconquest

Part IV

Chapter 9. Balkan Ghosts?

Chapter 10. Learning to Hate

Chapter 11. “A Broad Line of Blood”

Part V

Chapter 12. “Turban’d and Scimitar’d”

Chapter 13. The Black Art

Chapter 14. Maledicta: Words of Hate


Chapter 15. The Better Angels of Our Nature

Notes on the Text

Sources and Select Bibliography

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