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The Crusades
Cover of The Crusades
The Crusades
The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land
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The Crusades is an authoritative, accessible single-volume history of the brutal struggle for the Holy Land in the Middle Ages. Thomas Asbridge—a renowned historian who writes with "maximum vividness" (Joan Acocella, The New Yorker)—covers the years 1095 to 1291 in this big, ambitious, readable account of one of the most fascinating periods in history. From Richard the Lionheart to the mighty Saladin, from the emperors of Byzantium to the Knights Templar, Asbridge's book is a magnificent epic of Holy War between the Christian and Islamic worlds, full of adventure, intrigue, and sweeping grandeur.

The Crusades is an authoritative, accessible single-volume history of the brutal struggle for the Holy Land in the Middle Ages. Thomas Asbridge—a renowned historian who writes with "maximum vividness" (Joan Acocella, The New Yorker)—covers the years 1095 to 1291 in this big, ambitious, readable account of one of the most fascinating periods in history. From Richard the Lionheart to the mighty Saladin, from the emperors of Byzantium to the Knights Templar, Asbridge's book is a magnificent epic of Holy War between the Christian and Islamic worlds, full of adventure, intrigue, and sweeping grandeur.

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About the Author-
  • Thomas Asbridge is Reader in Medieval History at Queen Mary, University of London, and the author of 'The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones' (2014), 'The Crusades: The War for the Holy Land' (2010) and 'The First Crusade: A New History' (2004). He studied for a BA in Ancient and Medieval History at Cardiff University, and then gained his PhD in Medieval History at Royal Holloway, University of London.

    Thomas wrote and presented a BBC documentary, 'The Greatest Knight: William Marshal', and a landmark three-part documentary series 'The Crusades' for the BBC, filmed on location across the Near East and Europe. He has also appeared in many other internationally broadcast television documentaries and radio programs, and has worked as a historical consultant for HBO and Company Pictures. He now lives in southern England.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine This lengthy audio history of the medieval Crusades spans centuries, and generations upon generations of kings and generals. It is an investment of more than a full day of one's life--and it's rewarding on a number of levels. Derek Perkins is, as always, a matchless narrator. One could relish this production entirely for the music of his pronunciation. Asbridge is a skilled storyteller, and each successive turn of events will command listener interest, even as all the previous campaigns and waves of battle blur in the mind. This is an epic tale, a history of the waxing and waning of medieval chivalry, and an advance staging for today's wars for religion and territory in the Middle East. D.A.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award � AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from February 1, 2010
    Asbridge (The First Crusade
    ) has produced a truly comprehensive history of holy war in the Holy Land. (Another Crusade history, Jonathan Phillips's Holy Warriors
    , is also due in March.) Emphasizing the dramatic Third Crusade and its heroic antagonists, Richard the Lionheart and Saladin, the narrative reads like an adventure story, albeit one that is both factual and instructive. The accounts of the massive Muslim victory at Hattin and the successful Crusader siege of Acre are especially vivid, with almost blow-by-blow descriptions of the battles that, first, restored Islamic control of Jerusalem and then re-established Latin Christendom's foothold in Palestine. Clearly depicted as well is the importance of trade and diplomacy in the constant struggle for supremacy and, also, the significance of the last great figures of the Crusades, King Louis IX of France and Baybars, the Lion of Egypt. While warrior orders such as the Christian Templars and Hospitallers and, by extension, the Islamic Assassins, are discussed, the information on these militant and secretive organizations is somewhat limited. 8 pages of color and 8 pages of b&w illus.; maps.

  • Library Journal

    March 1, 2010
    Covering the 200-year period of the Crusades in a single volume is a monumental task, but Asbridge (medieval history, Queen Mary, Univ. of London) handles it well, presenting an evenhanded view of the actions of Christian and Muslim forces and paying particular attention to the larger-than-life figures of Richard the Lionheart and Saladin. In addition to relating the facts of the expeditions, he explores both the motivations of the Crusaders (religious devotion played a part but was often combined with the need of leaders to harness the violence of their subjects and consolidate their own power) and the reasons that Christians eventually failed to retain any hold on conquered territory. These perspectives have been lost to the romanticized image of the Crusades and its appropriation into modern propagandawhich underscores Asbridge's conclusion that drawing too many parallels between the Crusades and today's conflicts is both inaccurate and dangerous. Strongly recommend for interested general readers and of some value to academics for its use of both Christian and Muslim primary sources.Kathleen McCallister (KM), Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia

    Copyright 2010 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land
Thomas Asbridge
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