not demonstrate that Muslims were a significant factor in the cultural formation of Europe, except perhaps for Spain. For the most part Almond does not discuss at length the ways in which Muslims did play an important role in the development of European culture. For example, he does not discuss scholastic philosophy, one of the great intellectual achievements of the European Middle Ages but based on the maintenance and development of the Greek philosophical tradition by Muslim scholars. Almond has produced a critique of one school of historical writing, the history that the nation-states of Europe have been promulgating in their public schools for almost 150 years. To that extent he is correct when he states that much of the past, not only Muslims and Jews, has been airbrushed out of those histories to provide a politically acceptable history of the "nation" to support the state. Although he does not mention it, Almond is also responding to Samuel Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations," a thesis that has been criticized for reducing historical reality to the simplest, broadest generalizations to advance an ideological agenda. Almond himself, however, has an ideological agenda as well when he argues that "the story of
Journal of World History – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Sep 4, 2011
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