Jonathan M. Bloom's gorgeous new survey of the architecture of the Islamic west, much like his earlier work The Art and Architecture of Islam 1250–1800 (coauthored with Sheila S. Blair), is opulently illustrated with color images and useful plans.1 Like that earlier work, this book aims to appeal to the widest possible audience and will likely find enthusiastic adoption in college courses. The book covers the “Islamic west,” which Bloom defines as including not only Northwest Africa and the Iberian Peninsula, as indicated by the subtitle, but also Sicily. The temporal frame is unusually expansive, ranging from the arrival of Islam in North Africa and the Iberian...

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