In the Shadow of the Sword by Tom Holland

In the Shadow of the Sword

By Tom Holland

  • Release Date: 2012-05-15
  • Genre: Islam
Score: 3.5
From 43 Ratings
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The acclaimed author of Rubicon and other superb works of popular history now produces a thrillingly panoramic (and incredibly timely) account of the rise of Islam.
No less significant than the collapse of the Roman Republic or the Persian invasion of Greece, the evolution of the Arab empire is one of the supreme narratives of ancient history, a story dazzlingly rich in drama, character, and achievement.  Just like the Romans, the Arabs came from nowhere to carve out a stupefyingly vast dominion—except that they achieved their conquests not over the course of centuries as the Romans did but in a matter of decades. Just like the Greeks during the Persian wars, they overcame seemingly insuperable odds to emerge triumphant against the greatest empire of the day—not by standing on the defensive, however, but by hurling themselves against all who lay in their path.


  • Excellent history

    By Eliseocab
    Some people might not like the historical perspective but it is an objective account.
  • Rancid, racist history

    By terra parka lucida
    I have never read such a rancid, acidic reading of history such as is found in this book. Mr. Holland distorts, overwrites, and simply skims over anything that lends any credence to the Islamo-Arab Empire as one of humanity's great civilizations. No reforms of the economy are to be found here, no scientific and technological achievements by Islamic scientists. Nothing. Islam in this book is iconoclastically defaced, and erased from human history. Pay no attention to the Arabs, those savages!