This is an excellent and lucid introduction to the history of Islam, with a special focus on the relationship and areas of conflict between Christianity and Islam through the ages! It touches on everything from the Crusades and the history of the Ottoman empire to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the mindset of radical islamists today. The only draw-back is that it sometimes seems to want to include too many perspectives, but this is not a major problem since it so well written. I only wish the balanced and respectful approach taken in this book (without avoiding areas of criticism and debate) could be an example for many other Christian authors, writing in these last years to "expose" or "reveal" the true face of Islam as a terrorist religion. Cotterell and Riddell show us clearly that Islam is much more complex than this stereotyping allows.