The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land

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9780743268608: The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land
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A one-volume history of the Crusades to the Holy Land - telling this fascinating and bloody story from both Christian and Muslim perspectives for the first time.

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About the Author:

Thomas Asbridge is a Reader in Medieval History at Queen Mary University in London, and an internationally renowned expert on the history of the Crusades. He has written and presented a major BBC TV series on the Crusades and a documentary on William Marshal. His acclaimed titles The First Crusade and The Crusades are also available from Simon & Schuster.

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Author of The First Crusade (2004), British historian Asbridge widens his vista to the entire 1195–1291 duration of the crusading era, giving prominence in the holy-war epic to antagonists forever famous: Richard the Lionheart and Saladin. Each leader’s role as standard-bearer of his cause reflects Asbridge’s significant emphasis on the entanglement of secular politics with the overt religious aspect to the wars between Latin Christianity and Islam. Crass considerations of dynastic power were never separate from the calculations of these champions and their successors, and partly indicate Islam’s desultory pace in expunging the Christian states established by the First Crusade. In addition, medieval warfare’s high-risk character—in which a single encounter, such as the 1098 siege of Antioch or the 1187 Battle of Hattin, could completely turn the strategic tables—goes far in Asbridge’s able hands to informing readers about the course of the Crusades. With perceptive commentary about spiritual motivations behind crusading and perspectives from contemporary Islamic sources, Asbridge constructs a comprehensive, sophisticated, and arresting analytical narrative rewarding to any level of historical interest, whether recreational or scholarly. --Gilbert Taylor

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