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Blood and Faith


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About the Author

Matthew Carr is a writer, broadcaster, and journalist whose work has appeared in The Observer, The Guardian, The New Statesman and on BBC Radio. In 1990 he wrote a memoir about his relationship with his father, 'My Father's House', which was published by Hamish Hamilton to excellent reviews, and he is also the author of 'Fortress Europe: Inside the War Against Immigration' and 'The Infernal Machine: A History of Terrorism'. He lives in Derbyshire.


Well-balanced and comprehensive ... 'Blood and Faith' is a splendid work of synthesis. ... it is impossible to read this book without sensing its resonance in our own time. * The New York Times *
Who remembers the last survivors of Muslim Spain, whom Spaniards contemptuously called Moriscos ('little Moors')? Impressive research on them has appeared in the last 30 years, yet until now, none of it has escaped beyond the walls of the academic ghetto. Matthew Carr's well-balanced and comprehensive book brings the story of their tragic fate to a wider public... Splendid. * New York Times Book Review *
Matthew Carr['s] magnificent Blood and Faith charts the tragic end of the moriscos, ... "a monumental historical crime" from which he seeks lessons for today. -- The Guardian
A fascinating account of perhaps the first major episode of European ethnic cleansing and, just as importantly, the story of the beginning of the conviction that 'blood' matters more than belief; a conviction that led, in the end, to modern racism. In an age when so many people, on both 'sides', believe we face an historic confrontation between Christendom and Islam, it is essential to place the relations between these two global Abrahamic religions in a wider historical framework. This book does that eloquently and judiciously. -- Professor Kwame Anthony Appiah
Eloquently written and carefully researched, 'Blood and Faith' is an important new study that synthesises much important scholarship on the moriscos, until now inaccessible to an English readership, and makes us aware of historical precedents to current ideological and cultural conflicts. * European History Quarterly *
Balanced and thoroughly researched history. * Literary Review *
'Matthew Carr's well-researched account ... is carefully written and thoroughly documented ... This is a reliable, if often harrowing, account of a sad episode in Spanish and European history, which deserves to be better known.' -- History Today
Carr navigates issues of assimilation and integration rather elegantly, and arrives at carefully considered conclusions with his deft analysis of the events that led to the expulsion and its aftermath. Indeed, Carr has written a valuable cautionary tale for the public on the pathways that crystallise imaginary evils. -- LSE Review of Books
An estimated 350,000 Muslims were forced to abandon their homes; many died on the journey to the ships that would take them to North Africa, and many others were terrorized, raped, robbed and killed by forces that were supposed to protect them. Carr deftly narrates the complex events leading up to this little-known but horrific episode as a warning against religious intolerance and xenophobia. * Publishers Weekly *
'[A] sweeping panorama of a critical historical period . . . Carr's account is a powerful warning of the perils of intolerance of difference and of policies of forced conversion and assimilation.'
In this first comprehensive appreciation in many decades of the Muslim expulsion from Spain, Blood and Faith meticulously recaptures the fateful self-mutilation of a society that might have become Europe's first multicultural nation and offers a grim lesson about religious and racial repression in our contemporary age of contested faiths. -- Professor David Levering Lewis, author of God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215

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