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Andalus: Unlocking The Secrets Of Moorish Spain

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3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  153 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Spain's Moorish past is evident everywhere you look - in the food, the language, the architecture. For centuries, Christians, Muslims and Jews lived in Spain side by side in peace, and it was home to some of the greatest minds in the world. After the Moors' expulsion in the seventeenth century, much of their knowledge, skill and artistry was lost.

Jason Webster originally t
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Paperback, 316 pages
Published January 3rd 2005 by Black Swan (first published April 1st 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 305)
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Veronica
Jun 12, 2011 Veronica rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This book was OK. The author's premise is that Spanish culture is imbued with Moorish influences from its long occupation by Arabs, but that this is denied or concealed today. So he sets off on a road trip to discover the "hidden treasures". I had a couple of problems with this. Just how "hidden" is a Moorish influence that has produced the Alhambra, Seville's Alcazar, Cordoba's Great Mosque, and many other major monuments? He also spends a lot of time pointing out the numerous words in Spanish ...more
Elen Ghulam
As an Arab who had traveled to Spain many times, I couldn't help but notice the Arabic influence in Spanish culture. I was hoping this book would provide more depth, but sadly I was disappointed on that front. Outside of mere observations of buildings, food, words that anybody familiar with Arabic culture would make while travelling through Spain there isn't much more to this book. However despite my disappointment, I still enjoyed reading the book. I felt like I was travelling through somebody ...more
Radiantflux
Feb 16, 2016 Radiantflux rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
9th book for 2016.

I have the suspicion that after the success of his first novel on flamenco, the author was put under pressure to come up with an idea of a second, and having a knowledge of Arabic and having lived in Egypt it probably seemed like a no-brainer to write a book exploring the continuing (and hidden) influence of the Moorish occupation on temporary Spanish society.

The problem is that there is nothing hidden about the influences that Webster explores. He talks about the Arabic orig
...more
Velvetink
Oct 06, 2008 Velvetink rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2008
jason Webster, who speaks Arabic and Spanish and has a Spanish wife, starts off on his journey around Spain with the idea that 800 years of Moorish identity must have left many traces in Spain beyond the obvious ones of architecture and language. For many years this was suppressed; the Moors had always been the enemy, the other. After the Reconquest in 1492, they were first forced to convert and then expelled from Spain.
Patricia Eichenlaub
There are some gems in this book about the moorish influence in Spain. But for the most part it is tedious.
Peter
Interesting but very unevenly written
Sandra Danby
Aug 25, 2015 Sandra Danby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spanish-culture
The ending to this book is so poignant, not what I was expecting, but is so fitting for the end of this unusual book. I struggle to define it. It’s part-memoir, part-travel book, part-Arabic history, part-language, and ALL Spain. As usual with Jason Webster, Spain comes alive off every page.
Here he travels around Spain looking for the Moorish heritage just beneath the skin of this modern country. And he finds it in abundance, in places he did not expect, and sometimes in uncomfortable circumstan
...more
Irwan
Apr 23, 2011 Irwan rated it liked it
Shelves: finished, andalusia, 2011
This is a travelogue mostly suitable for those who are fascinated with the Andalucian history. It all started with La Llegenda del Moro Musa (The Legend of Musa the Moor) who was the richest, strongest and most powerful caliph who ever ruled in ancient Spain. He lived on top of a mountain in a luxurious palace with golden domed roofs and minarets that touched the sky. Seeing one day that Christian armies were advancing to conquer his lands, he decided to flee, but felt reluctant to leave his bea ...more
Gary Griffiths
Mar 27, 2016 Gary Griffiths rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely fascinating, uncovering aspects of modern Spain and its' relationship to its' past that are not immediately apparent.
Rob Innis
I read this after Webster's Guerra and Duende (which I enjoyed, see my reviews) but this one for me was too linked to ancient Spanish history and the Moors. Still well written, and with his research interwoven around his modern day encounters and exploits. Worth a look if you want an insight into this topic, but like me you may prefer his others.
Atlas
Outro livro que comprei para pesquisa. Foi minha introdução à herança árabe da Península Ibérica. Como eu tinha só 15 anos na época, não entendi muito bem tudo que me foi passado, mas gostei. Acho que merece uma re-leitura.
Elizabeth
This was a great book to read while spending time in southern Spain. Webster explores the remnants of the ancient Moorish culture on the Iberian peninsula, and takes as his companion a young illegal Moroccan immigrant.
Anneke De
Jun 01, 2012 Anneke De rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reisliteratuur
Starts out very good and promising but then it is unsure what the author wants to tell. Interesting if you want to know something about Arab influence on Spanish language.
Becky Mears
May 04, 2013 Becky Mears rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book to read whilst visiting Andalucia. Really made you appreciate Spain's moorish history
Hollie
Sep 17, 2012 Hollie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition


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Jason Webster is a highly acclaimed Anglo-American author and authority on Spain whose work ranges from biography to travel, crime fiction and history. His books have sold in over a dozen countries, including the US, the UK and China, and have been nominated both for the Guardian First Book Award and the Crime Writers’ Association New Blood Dagger Award. He has been favourably compared with writer ...more
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