The Grand Inquisitor's Manual: A History of Terror in the Name of God

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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.

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The Surprising History and Legacy of the Inquisition

The renowned historian and critic Jonathan Kirsch presents a sweeping history of the Inquisition and the ways in which it has served as the chief model for torture in the West to this day. Ranging from the Knights Templar to the first Protestants; from Joan of Arc to Galileo; from the Inquisition's immense power in Spain after 1492, when the secret tribunals and torture chambers were directed for the first time against Jews and Muslims, to the torture and murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent women during the Witch Craze; and to the modern war on terror—Kirsch shows us how the Inquisition stands as a universal and ineradicable reminder of how absolute power wreaks inevitable corruption.

About the Author:

Jonathan Kirsch is the author of ten books, including the national bestseller The Harlot by the Side of the Road and his most recent work, the Los Angeles Times bestseller A History of the End of the World. Kirsch is also a book columnist for the Los Angeles Times, a broadcaster for NPR affiliates in Southern California, and an adjunct professor at New York University.

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