Divorced from the religious elements of the story, the founder of Islam turns out to have been a shrewd, if self-educated, master of the military and political elements required to wage a successful insurgency. [...] Gabriel tracks that evolution (two years later Muhammad fielded a force of 1,500, and six years after that initial battle he put 10,000 men into the field) and sufficiently explains how the founder of a new religion was fairly artful in his political maneuvering-combining force with guile, fusing an apparent keen understanding of local politics and power with a comprehension of human nature.
ticians and generals driving the conflict from the American side, the B
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