Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ten Controversial Books about the Middle Ages

Medievalist dot net has published an insightful article on what are considered to be ten of the most controversial books to have been written about the middle ages.

The following books are listed:

  • Inventing the Middle Ages: The Lives, Works, and Ideas of the Great Medievalists of the Twentieth Century by Norman Cantor
  • The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt
  • 1421: The Year China Discovered the World by Gavin Menzies
  • Fiefs and Vassals: The Medieval Evidence Reinterpreted by Susan Reynolds
  • The Black Death: Natural and Human Disaster in Medieval Europe by Robert Gottfried
  • City of Light: The Hidden Journal of the Man Who Entered China Four Years Before Marco Polo edited and translated by David Selbourne
  • The Vinland Map and the Tartar Relation edited by Raleigh A. Skelton
  • Medieval Technology and Social Change by Lynn Townsend White, Jr.
  • Passovers of Blood: European Jews and Ritual Homicides (Pasque di sangue: Ebrei d’Europa e omicidi rituali) by Ariel Toaff
  • Same Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe by John Boswell
Medievalist dot net provides a short synopsis on each book and an explanation (which additional links) as to why each book made the list.

After reading this article, I am quite thankful that none of the above books are a part of my library - though I have considered the "1421" book a number of times but kept passing it over for something else.  It does, however, make one curious enough to pick up a copy (from a library) and read for oneself and decide whether these books really do belong on the abovementioned list.

Happy reading!

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