Wild's Reviews > Holy War: How Vasco da Gama's Epic Voyages Turned the Tide in a Centuries-Old Clash of Civilizations

Holy War by Nigel Cliff
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

really liked it
Read 2 times. Last read March 24, 2018 to April 9, 2018.

I remember college Western Civilization classes...boring! The assigned textbooks, and "extra reading"? Even worse! But, not so with this refreshingly readable tome of information!
Nigel Cliff mesmerizes the reader with a fascinating look at the world's "dawn of intercontinental discovery".
It's the late 1400's through the mid 1500's, and Europe has its sights set on establishing a maritime path to India and its fabled treasure trove of spices, jewels and silk. Of course, Christopher Columbus grabs most of the credit for discovering America, but in actuality, he was a failure compared to the success gained by the lesser-known Vasco da Gama. Gama was the intrepid Portuguese explorer who was responsible for discovering the sea route around Africa's Cape of Good Hope, and sailed up the eastern side of that continent until he reached India.

The discovery paid off handsomely in terms of fabulous booty that made the Portuguese royalty rich and powerful. But all of this adventure wasn't simply for making the king rich. The true agenda here, was the escalation of the centuries-old hostilities between Christianity and Islam, vis a vis the Crusades.

Cliff, in his characteristic flair for making history come alive, describes the war-torn struggle for world domination between the two major faiths. The wresting of the spice trade from the Moslems by the Christians as if justified by the very "Hand of God" is illustrated by many cases of man's inhumanity to man.
This is a powerful book, and is full of ready-to-use resources. There is also an appendix of terms that explain various facts in further historical detail at the book's end.
1 like · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Holy War.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

March 3, 2018 – Shelved
March 3, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
March 18, 2018 – Started Reading
March 24, 2018 – Started Reading
April 8, 2018 – Finished Reading
April 9, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-1 of 1 (1 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Great review!

back to top