At the beginning of the eighth century, the Arabs brought a revolution in power, religion and culture to Dark Ages Europe. David Levering Lewis' panoramic history begins with the fall of the Persian and Roman empires, followed by the rise of the prophet Muhammad and the creation of Muslim Spain. Five centuries of engagement between the Muslim imperium and an emerging Europe followed. "God's Crucible", filled with accounts of some of the greatest battles ever fought, reveals how cosmopolitan Muslim al-Andalus flourished - a beacon of co-operation and tolerance between Islam, Judaism and Christianity - while proto-Europe, defining itself in opposition to Islam, made virtues out of hereditary aristocracy, religious intolerance, perpetual war and slavery. "God's Crucible" provides a new interpretation of world-altering events whose influence remains current.