How have the crusades contributed to Islamist rage and terrorism today? Were the crusades the Christian equivalent of modern jihad? In this sweeping yet crisp history, Thomas F. Madden offers a brilliant and compelling narrative of the crusades and their contemporary relevance.
With a cry of "God wills it!" medieval knights ushered in a new era in European history. Across Europe a wave of pious enthusiasm led many thousands to leave their homes, family, and friends to march to distant lands in a great struggle for Christ. Yet the crusades were more than simply a holy war. They represent a synthesis of attitudes and values that were uniquely medieval--so medieval, in fact, that the crusading movement is rarely understood today.
Placing all the major crusades within the medieval social, economic, religious, and intellectual environments that gave birth to the movement and nurtured it for centuries, Madden brings the distant medieval world vividly to life. From Palestine and Europe's farthest reaches, each crusade is recounted in a clear, concise narrative. The author gives special attention as well to the crusades' effects on the Islamic world and the Christian Byzantine East.
More information is available on the author's website.
Download the Powerpoint Presentation to view area maps for the New Concise History of the Crusades.
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Thomas F. Madden is professor and chair of the Department of History at Saint Louis University. A widely recognized expert on the Crusades and Christian-Muslim conflict, he has written and spoken widely on the topic in such venues as the New York Times, National Public Radio, and PBS. He is the author of A Concise History of the Crusades, which was a Washington Post Book World Rave selection, Enrico Dandolo and the Rise of Venice and The Fourth Crusade: The Conquest of Constantinople, a History Book Club selection. He is the editor of Crusades: The Illustrated History and The Crusades: The Essential Readings. He resides in St. Louis, Missouri.Review:
Praise for the first edition: Readers will be pleased that Thomas Madden has hit just the right note in his sweeping but concise account of the crusades. While he follows the development of crusading down to the period of the Protestant Reformation, and offers, in an afterword, speculations about the modern impact of the medieval crusade, he never fails to interest and inform. His prose is lucid. And to give the graphic point, he offers the reader fourteen clearly produced maps depicting the Mediterranean world about A.D. 1000, the routes of the main crusades, and the crusade plan of Maximilian I in 1518. The usefulness of these is reinforced by an index, a glossary, mainly of Islamic terms, a list of translated sources, and a select bibliography... (The Catholic Historical Review)
Madden's books are the best. (John F. Fink Criterion)
Exactly the right amount of information in just enough detail to hold the students' attention without overwhelming them. (Kimberly Rivers)
I love this book. It is clearly and artfully written, user-friendly, and well-organized, with excellent maps and an up-to-date suggested readings and sources in translation section. (Paul Cobb)
Praise for the first edition: This is a wonderful piece of work that will greatly add to the sum of crusade historiography. . . . It is brilliantly executed. . . . Madden's ability as a writer of gripping narrative shines through. This is a work that students will love, largely because it does not read like a textbook.... (Alfred Andrea)
Thomas Madden brings fresh understanding to these blemished, but at heart noble, efforts to defend the core of medieval European culture. (Rev. William H. Scarle Leader Times)
Praise for the first edition: This is a wonderful piece of work that will greatly add to the sum of crusade historiography. . . . It is brilliantly executed. . . . Madden's ability as a writer of gripping narrative shines through. This is a work that students will love, largely because it does not read like a textbook. (Alfred Andrea)
Praise for the first edition: Professor Madden has written a strong narrative of the crusades, focusing on the crusades to the East and on the major (or numbered) crusades. (James Powell)
Praise for the first edition: Much praise is due to the author for giving us such a clear, concise picture of an ever-changing area of scholarship. (Patrick J. Holt H-Net Reviews)
Praise for the first edition: A gripping narrative approach of the medieval social, economic, religious, and intellectual environments that gave birth to the Crusades and nurtured them for centuries. (Missiology: An International Review)
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