The New Concise History of the Crusades

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2005 - 257 pages
How have the crusades contributed to Islamist rage and terrorism today? Were the crusades the Christian equivalent of modern jihad? In this sweeping yet pointed 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 the continent a wave of pious enthusiasm led many thousands to leave their homes, families, and friends to march to distant lands in a great struggle for Christ and the redemption of the Holy Land. 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 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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JDHomrighausen - LibraryThing

This book was not terribly analytical, but it does what it's supposed to: gives a broad narrative overview of the Crusades, to be used as a textbook. It was quite depressing to see how stupid we ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - stephendr - LibraryThing

Very well done. This was a gripping read and one that I could hardly put down. The author also supplies some interesting commentary on popular attitudes toward the crusades. A fascinating book. Read full review


The Call
The First Crusade
The Rise of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Second Crusade
The Decline of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Third Crusade
The Fourth Crusade
Crusading at Home
The Fifth Crusade and the Crusade of Frederick II
The Crusades of St Louis
The Legacy of the Crusades
Select Bibliography
Sources in Translation
About the Author

The Later Crusades

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About the author (2005)

Thomas F. Madden is professor in the Department of History and director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Saint Louis University. He is the recipient of the Medieval Institute's Otto Gründler Prize and the Medieval Academy of America's Haskins Medal. 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.

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