Synopses & Reviews
A bestselling historian recounts sixteen years that shook the world- the epic clash between Europe and the Ottoman Turks that ended the Renaissance and brought Islam to the gates of Vienna
In the bestselling Warriors of God and Dogs of God, James Reston, Jr., limned two epochal conflicts between Islam and Christendom. Here he examines the ultimate battle in that centuries-long war, which found Europe at its most vulnerable and Islam on the attack. This drama was propelled by two astonishing young sovereigns: Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and Turkish sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. Though they represented two colliding worlds, they were remarkably similar. Each was a poet and cultured cosmopolitan; each was the most powerful man on his continent; each was called "Defender of the Faith"; and each faced strident religious rebellion in his domain. Charles was beset by the "heresy" of Martin Luther and his fervid adherents, even while tensions between him and the pope threatened to boil over, and the upstart French king Francis I harried Charles's realm by land and sea. Suleyman was hardly more comfortable on his throne. He had earned his crown by avoiding the grim Ottoman tradition of royal fratricide. Shiites in the East were fighting off the Sunni Turks' cruel repression of their "heresy." The ferocity and skill of Suleyman's Janissaries had expanded the Ottoman Empire to its greatest extent ever, but these slave soldiers became rebellious when foreign wars did not engage them.
With Europe newly hobbled and the Turks suffused with restless vigor, the stage was set for a drama that unfolded from Hungary to Rhodes and ultimately to Vienna itself, which both sides thought the Turks could win. If that happened, it was generally agreed that Europe would become Muslim as far west as the Rhine.
During these same years, Europe was roiled by constant internal tumult that saw, among other spectacles, the Diet of Worms, the Sack of Rome, and an actual wrestling match between the English and French monarchs in which Henry VIII's pride was badly hurt. Would-could-this fractious continent be united to repulse a fearsome enemy?
"In this vibrant piece of intellectual history, Reston completes the saga of the relationship between East and West he began with Warriors of God. Combining a historian's attention to detail and a novelist's narrative flair, Reston focuses on the period when the Ottoman Empire came within a hair's breadth of conquering Europe. The Sultan Suleyman swore to accomplish what his father and grandfather had not conquer the Holy Roman Empire. Standing in his way was an equally ambitious leader, the young Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V. As Reston observes, each faced rebellion and fractiousness within his own empire. Although Charles defeated Suleyman at Gns, now in Hungary, the Turks had spread terror through Europe by moving farther into Christian lands than ever before. By examining this short but crucial span of years, Reston not only brings to life two 'Olympian' figures who believed they were carrying out the will of God; he also offers a lucid window onto Renaissance Europe and the foundations of contemporary debates between the West and Islam." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A bestselling historian recounts 16 years that shook the world--the epic clash between Europe and the Ottoman Turks that ended the Renaissance and brought Islam to the gates of Vienna.
A bestselling historian recounts the epic clash that ended the Renaissance and pushed Islam to the gates of Vienna
In Warriors of God and Dogs of God, James Reston, Jr., brought two epochal events in the struggle between Islam and Christendom to readers eager to understand the roots of the present-day conflict. With his unwavering eye for detail, Reston now weaves a captivating narrative that examines a pivotal period in that centuries- long war, which found Europe at its most vulnerable and Islam on the attack. This saga of colliding worlds is propelled by two astonishing young sovereigns-the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and the Turkish sultan Suleyman the Magnificent-and is supported by a wide range of larger-than-life characters, who lend this meticulously researched history a novel's worth of suspense and brio.
About the Author
James Reston, Jr., is the author of fourteen previous books, including Warriors of God, Dogs of God, Galileo: A Life, and The Conviction of Richard Nixon. Winner of the Prix Italia and the Dupont-Columbia Award for his 1983 documentary, "Father Cares: The Last of Jonestown," his books have been translated into thirteen languages.