From Tolerance to Tyranny
by Erna Paris
Format: Trade Paperback
Size: 6" x 9"
HIS022000 HISTORY / Jewish
HIS045000 HISTORY / Europe / Spain & Portugal
HIS055000 HISTORY / Middle East / Turkey & Ottoman Empire
Publication Date: January 15, 2015
One thousand years ago, a civilization existed in Spain that was famed throughout Europe. To the horror of the Christian rulers to the north, Jews, Christians, and Moors lived together in harmony — and in doing so they created one of the most extraordinary societies the West has ever known.
In the span a few hundred years, however, Spain would transform itself from a pluralistic, multicultural society to the least tolerant nation in 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, or Arabs, were banned as well. The tragic configuration of events that turned a culture of tolerance into an autocratic police state was effectively repeated centuries later in Nazi Germany, in Occupied France, and even in places closer to home.
From Tolerance to Tyranny is a gripping tale of a long-ago era whose familiar echoes continue to resound today. Paris tackles the subject of majority-minority relations in mixed societies, focusing on the humanity of the players even as she exposes the pitfalls of their ideals.
“Incandescent … Paris uses a historian’s pen and journalist’s eye to find nuance and texture … She brilliantly revives an old story and lets it speak to our time.”
— The Globe and Mail
“One of the greatest and most thought-provoking histories I have ever read. It ought to be read by every student of modern politics and by everyone who has an interest in the strength and weaknesses of multiculturalism.”
— R. John Pritchard, Director, Robert M.W. Kempner Collegium, Programmes and Publications on the History and Jurisprudence of International Criminal Law, London
“A fasincating, detailed study of one of history's great setbacks to civilization — a setback prefiguring the even more terrible setbacks of the 20th century. Warmly recommended.”
— Conor Cruise O'Brien
“This is history in the tradition of Barbara Tuchman and Simon Schama — full of human detail with a driving narrative power. It is also a profound reminder that to learn from the past we must not repeat the mistakes of the past.”
— Phyllis Grosskurth
“… That themes of this magnitude for our time arise from a retelling of events from 15th century Spain is a testimony to the powerful and fluent sweep of [From Tolerance to Tyranny].”
— Myrna Kostash, The Edmonton Journal
“This book is a must-read for anyone interested in learning more about an important chapter in the sad history of racism and oppression.”
— Harriet Lyons, Professor Emerita of Anthropology, University of Waterloo, Outlook Magazine