The Ornament of the World


This book by Maria Rosa Menocal is subtitled How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain. This was another book club selection. We thought it would provide an informative and interesting backdrop to current tensions amongst some of the world’s religions.

The subject is well-researched, but no one in our book club could actually get through it. It is incredibly boring. The compound sentences are difficult to follow. The language is stilted and far too scholarly for a trade paperback. While I have no doubt there is a great deal of important information in the book, it’s too much work to dig it out from beneath the weight of all that scholarship.

I’m sorry to say I cannot recommend this book.

Published in hardcover-Little, Brown and Co. 2002
Softcover edition-Back Bay Books 2004

The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain


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