Dogs of God: Columbus, the Inquisition and the Defeat of the Moors

Written by James Reston
Review by Ann Oughton

In 1492, in an effort to free themselves from the yoke of the Vatican, Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain turned to the Dominican priest Tomas de Tourquemada, who insisted that an inquisition would consolidate their majesties’ position of power throughout Spain. Their first victims were the Moors of Granada. When Granada fell Muslims were given the choice of converting to Christianity or face death or banishment. The Jews were given the same ultimatum, resulting in between 800,000 and two million Jews being forced to leave their homes. The horrors of the Inquisition are alleviated somewhat by the pioneering Christopher Columbus and the hope of the creation of a modern empire in the New World.

This is a compelling account of one of the most savage epochs in history, detailing a cruel wave of religious persecution and which has uncomfortable parallels with today.