by Ted Gordon
The year is 1613: the Ottoman Empire is at its height, sprawling from Hungary to Iraq, Morocco to Yemen. One man dares to challenge it: the Prince of the mysterious Druze sect in Mount Lebanon, Fakhr ad-Din. Yielding before a mighty army sent to conquer him, he astonishingly takes refuge with the Medici in Florence at the height of the Renaissance. Fakhr ad-Din took along with him a diverse party of Moslem, Christian, and Jewish Levantines on their first visit to the Lands of the Christians. During his five-year stay in Italy, he fights to persuade Popes, Grand-Dukes and Viceroys to support a grand plan: a new Crusade to wrest the Holy Land from the Ottomans, giving Jerusalem back to Christendom and himself a crown. This groundbreaking biography of Fakhr ad-Din, Prince of the Druze, brings to life one remarkable man’s beliefs and ambitions, uniquely illuminating the elusive interface between Eastern and Western culture, based on Gorton’s translations of contemporary Arabic sources.