The End Of Days: A Story Of Tolerance, Tyranny, And The Expulsion Of The Jews From Spain by Erna Paris

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One thousand years ago there existed in Spain a civilization that was famous - or, rather, infamous - throughout Europe. To the horror of the Christian rulers to the north, Jews, Christians, and Moors lived together on the Iberian Peninsula in harmony. Yet, in just a few hundred years, Spain would transform itself from a pluralistic, multicultural society to the least tolerant nation in all of Europe. By the end of the fifteenth century, the Spanish Inquisition had established a reign of terror, and the Jews were expelled from the land they had inhabited for 1,500 years. Eventually, the Moors were banished as well. The End of Days traces this tragic path, explaining in fascinating detail the dramatic events that led to the end of pluralism and the rise of tyranny. Erna Paris brings to life the many complex factors that created this situation: the politics of the Spanish Inquisition and its manipulative psychology of terror; the greatest religious debate of the Middle Ages; the misguided murder of an inquisitor by desperate "New Christians" who were descended from Jews; a sensational, trumped-up case of ritual murder; and the most spectacular auto-da-fe of the fifteenth century. In attempting to pinpoint the historical events that turned a culture of tolerance into an autocratic police state, Paris compares what occurred in medieval Spain to the social upheavals of nineteenth- and twentieth-century France and Germany. She discovers many striking patterns and also certain eerie similarities with the social and political unrest in modern-day North America. The End of Days is absorbing history and a reminder that many of its lessons are yet to be learned.

Lester, 2002.
ISBN: 9781895555974. 327 pp.
Softcover. Near fine.
Owner's sig. on front endpaper.