The Grand Inquisitor’s Manual by nationally bestselling author Jonathan Kirsch is a provocative popular history of the Inquisition, the 12th century reign of church-sanctioned terror. Ranging from the Knights Templar to the first Protestants, from Joan of Arc to Galileo, The Grand Inquisitor’s Manual is a fascinating and sobering study of the torture and murder of hundreds of thousands of “heretics” in God’s name—the original blueprints for persecution originally drafted in the Middle Ages but followed for centuries afterwards, up to and including the “advanced interrogation methods” recently employed at Guantanamo Bay.
Brand: HarperCollins e-books
Used Book in Good Condition
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Based on the title (and especially the subtitle: "A History of Terror in the Name of God"), I looked forward to an entertaining and enlightening read about the Inquisition. As I knew only the basics of that period in history, Kirsch educated me when he named the three phases (medieval Inquisition, Spanish Inquisition, and Roman Inquisition). He explained each, including reasons why each happened and what factors helped to sustain and eventually end each Inquisition.
The overall storytelling is fairly conversational. If one is looking for a scholarly treatise on this subject, Kirsch's book is not for you. However, if you merely wish to learn more about the who/what/why of the Inquistion Period, you will probably find this book interesting.
If the author would have stopped after the first six chapters, I probably would have awarded the book five stars, as I felt it lived up to its title. However, for some reason the author began to list other events in...
The essays of Plutarch, the ancient Roman, are filled with anecdotes covering the words and deeds from the day-to-day lives of ancient Greeks and Romans. FDR later stated that whenever he faced a difficult decision, he found wisdom in Plutarch to reach a decision.
Similarly, Kirsch's book is vivid history as up-close and first-person as one often can hope to get. It is filled with the quoted words of the prosectors and the prosecuted, with all their rightheous indignation and agnonizing pain, calling out from across history. It is a compilation of the anecdotal, day-to-day details that led to the most famous to lesser known inquisitions throughout history: the Cathar Inquisition; the Knights Templar Inquisition; the Spanish Inquisition; the Great Terror; the Holocaust; the Salem Witch Trials; the Red Scare; and inquisitions into today. Like Plutarch's anecdotes - we can only gauge the level of their truth through the lens of history - but the wisdom that emerges is...
This is a classic thorough history of the Inquisition. Well researched and fascinating . No one delves into the history of religion better than Kirsch. The Inquisition was not just about 15th Century Spain, it covered much of Catholic Europe and spread through the Spanish and Portugese New World , and did not just involve hapless Jewish victims . This is a must read .
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