In the Shadow of the Sword - The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World, by Tom Hoilland
This is an extremely interesting book, about a most fascinating time. As usual, Tom Holland writes about history as an adventure novel, which makes it a very pleasant read, even if sometimes he uses too much the passive sentences, but that's his style. Sometimes he seems to assume too much, but the matter of the book seems very well researched, and his depiction of the development of Islam from the turbulent struggles between Byzantium and Persia, Judaism and Christianity, is very interesting, insightful and thought provoking. I found extremely interesting his depiction of the origins of Islam, and so very likely. And I think it's very praiseworthy for someone to write History is such a readable and pleasant way, in the tradition of Gibbon. Knowing History is the best way to understand the development of our society, and if it's not always comfortable, it's always most useful.