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Andalus: Unlocking The Secrets Of Moorish Spain

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  168 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
As Islam and the West prepare to clash once again, Jason Webster embarks on a quest to discover Spain's hidden Moorish legacy and lift the lid on a country once forged by both Muslims and Christians. He meets Zine, a young illegal immigrant from Morocco, a twenty-first century Moor, lured over with the promise of a job but exploited as a slave labourer on a fruit farm. Jas ...more
Published January 3rd 2005 by Black Swan (first published April 1st 2004)
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Jun 09, 2011 Veronica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 22, 2015 Elen Ghulam rated it liked it
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
Aug 23, 2008 Velvetink rated it really liked it
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
Jun 16, 2015 Patricia Eichenlaub rated it liked it
There are some gems in this book about the moorish influence in Spain. But for the most part it is tedious.
May 16, 2010 Peter rated it liked it
Interesting but very unevenly written
John cluett
Nov 23, 2016 John cluett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Al-Andalus, described with passion and affection by Jason Webster.

Jason Webster explains the historic important of the debt to the Islamic world in the text of this book as Europe was lifted out of the Dark Ages by Muslims, Christians and Jews integrating in Spain, creating an important fusion of ancient literatures, philosophy, mathematics, science, and medicine that have had a significant impact on Western cultural and intellectual pursuits over the years.

The wonderful story of Zine, the Moo
Feb 12, 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
Apr 16, 2011 Irwan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sandra Danby
Nov 17, 2013 Sandra Danby rated it really liked it
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
Rob Innis
Jul 18, 2012 Rob Innis rated it liked it
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.
Shiba Otimista
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.
Aug 21, 2007 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Shelves: spain, travel-books, 2006
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.
Becky Mears
May 04, 2013 Becky Mears rated it really liked it
An excellent book to read whilst visiting Andalucia. Really made you appreciate Spain's moorish history
Gary Griffiths
Mar 27, 2016 Gary Griffiths rated it really liked it
Absolutely fascinating, uncovering aspects of modern Spain and its' relationship to its' past that are not immediately apparent.
Sep 16, 2012 Hollie rated it liked it

Ca va, sans plus...
Anneke De
May 01, 2012 Anneke De rated it it was ok
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.
Yoeri rated it it was ok
Jan 09, 2014
Neil Kernohan
Neil Kernohan rated it really liked it
Jun 22, 2014
Kerry rated it liked it
Nov 04, 2013
Andy Law
Andy Law rated it liked it
Jun 05, 2014
Derek Mullin
Derek Mullin rated it it was amazing
May 11, 2014
Undreya rated it liked it
Feb 28, 2012
Fran rated it liked it
Jan 09, 2016
Hazem Kassem
Hazem Kassem rated it it was amazing
Mar 02, 2016
A rated it really liked it
May 06, 2009
Megan rated it really liked it
Dec 21, 2009
John rated it really liked it
Jun 03, 2015
Leila rated it it was amazing
Sep 28, 2013
Gabrielle Phillips
Gabrielle Phillips rated it did not like it
Sep 14, 2013
Mike Ward
Mike Ward rated it liked it
Aug 11, 2012
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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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