James Reston, Jr., is the author of thirteen books, including Warriors of God, The Last Apocalypse, and Galileo: A Life. He has written articles for The New Yorker, Esquire, Vanity Fair, Time, Rolling Stone, and many other publications; three plays; and the scripts for three Frontline documentaries. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Veteran journalist and author Reston brings to life three key elements of Spanish history that intertwined in 1492. Columbus takes a back seat to the Inquisition and the defeat of Islamic Granada, but plays a key role in demonstrating their relationship to the rise of empire and the modern state. Reston (Warriors of God; Galileo) has done tremendous research, though the shadows of his mostly older sources tend to show in stereotypes of the treasure-hungry, Machiavellian Ferdinand and the handsome adventurer Columbus charming Isabella. While he reduces the order of Dominicans to their role as inquisitors, he generally does justice to the complexities of his subject, examining the worlds of Christians, Muslims and Jews with sympathy and irony, and incorporating portraits of several lesser-known figures. The Inquisition emerges from political as much as religious circumstances, and the clerics presented run the gamut from saints to careerists, rabble-rousing preachers and prophets. Parallel civil wars in Christian and Muslim Spain and images of mobs on both sides suggest the interplay of popular feeling, government policy and theological debate. Despite minor disappointments in the details, this is a highly entertaining, thoughtful and complex narrative that both introduces and analyzes a greatly misunderstood era. Agent, Joseph Regal. (On sale Oct. 11) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
"Engaging and highly readable. . . . The events in Dogs of God may have taken place more than 500 years ago, but there are times when they seem chillingly, worryingly familiar."-The Washington Post Book World"Thrilling, even cinematic. . . . Presents one relevant and ominous object lesson in showing a domino effect at work, the process by which one aggressive initiative led to another until people of God behaved like satanic beasts in God's name."-The Washington Times"Engaging, richly detailed and well-researched. . . . An important book."-The Albany Times-Union"Energetic... Reston brings alive the conflict between Catholic and Muslim and how the outcome still resonates today."-USA Today