Confrontation At Lepanto: Christendom vs. Islam
Had Lepanto taken place on land instead of at sea, Hopkins argues, its name would be much more enduring in the realms of combat. Instead, it ranks as a pivotal sea battle and the focal point of this study of East and West. Hopkins draws attention to the contrasts between a rag-tag alliance of nominally Christian powers and the Ottoman pirate navy. The book sets a scene where appearances can be deceiving, with boats loaded with oarsmen rooting for the other side. The cast of characters include the Venetians, the Hapsburgs, and a young Cervantes. The picture is wide-ranging, at times dry but brisk and comprehensive for the student or the amateur. And as with similar studies, the battle illuminates the present power struggle that in some ways mirrors its predecessor.