Religion and Politics from the European Dictators to Al-Qaeda

Max Hastings in the London Times:

Michael Burleigh forged a formidable reputation as a historian of Germany, and consolidated it with Earthly Powers, his study of the influence of religion upon European politics between 1789 and 1918, published last year. Sacred Causes takes the story up to the present day.

Its first half addresses in masterly fashion the relationship between the churches and the totalitarians. The later chapters are part narrative, part an outpouring of rage about the manner in which Europe over the past 40 years has abandoned itself to the worship of false idols, of which secularism, multiculturalism and indulgence of Irish republican gangsterism are among the most damaging.

Burleigh is at his best analysing the relationship between Christianity and the Nazis, about whom he knows as much as any man. Of Hitler, he writes: “There is something faintly ridiculous about the weight of learning brought to bear in the last six decades on this less than fascinating figure, a cavernous blank behind the impassioned postures.”

More here.