So, in a recent New Yorker (yes, I am a sterotype -- an academic who reads The New Yorker) there's a review of David Levering Lewis' God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215 by Joan Acocella.
Oh, where to begin? I just don't have the energy...
Should it tip you off that Ms. Acocella is an author of books on Mark Morris and Willa Cather? Surely, there's a medievalist out there who could've written this? Should it tip you off that Prof. Lewis is a professor at NYU -- who's won 2 Pulitzers for biographies of W.E.B. DuBois (click on teaching interests)?
Anyway, I'm glad that Ms. Acocella has read Edward Said. I'm glad that she thinks that "revisionism" is a new kind of trend in historiography. Still, I don't know if you can accurately judge historiographic trends in medieval studies by the work of a non-specialist (writing -- and this isn't meant in a perjorative way -- a trade publication). Oh, and the Franks may've been concerned about incest in the 8th century. That DOES NOT mean, however, that they were sleeping with their brothers and sisters every five freakin' minutes.
Read the review and judge for yourself.
PS -- the title of the post refers to the whole "Franks are dirty, smelly, sister-lovers" thing.