The Great and Holy War

The Great and Holy War

How World War I Became A Religious Crusade

Book - 2014
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Published to coincide with the centennial of the outbreak of World War I, a historian and religious expert sheds new light on the religious, political and cultural climate that gave rise to the devastation of 1914-1918 and created the world's religious map as we know it today.
Publisher: New York : HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, ©2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062105097
Branch Call Number: History 940.31 JEN


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Mar 22, 2019

A nice addition to ww1 history reads: an easy read, drawing a portrait of colonialism and religion from the early 20th century as a foundation for the world of now. I've found the second half more readable; pondering the results of the war more fascinating than Jenkins' initial history laced with religion. I would have thought of 20th century mixture of conflicts with a religious bend an oddball, had I not spent extended time in the US, where religion, and also superstition and conspiracy, are taken seriously. Very interesting part of the book is inclusion of influencers who have risen from the post-war colonial mess. It is hard to tell apart religious figures from opportunists using religion to their own goals. The multitudes who'd follow leaders with a mission, just about any mission, even if self-destructive, speaks of the world younger than we like to think of in the 21st century. Fingers crossed (irony is not lost on me).

A side note: I also grew up reading, among other books, pulp fiction full of noble and less than noble sheiks, and was surprised that this period made it into Jenkins' book. What a thorough research!


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