Crusades is an authoritative historical survey written in an accessible style by academically qualified specialists. It not only provides a chronological narrative of all the major campaigns, but also looks at the complex background to events-including the divisions between the major religions, and, just as importantly, within them.
More than eighty intriguing sidebars and boxes offer both close-up looks in fascinating detail as well as broader, big-picture views. Also includes ten special mini-essay feature spreads on major aspects of daily life, belief, art, architecture, and warfare.
Beautifully illustrated throughout, Crusades will appeal to all those intrigued by large-scale tensions between civilizations and their values.
Madden (The Fourth Crusade) has assembled an expert team to produce a popular history of the Crusades. While it focuses on the Middle Eastern crusades, it also treats those that took place in Europe, including the suppression of the Cathar religion in southern France, the reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula, and the forcible conversion to Christianity of the Prussians and other peoples of the Eastern Baltic littoral. While not as much in the public eye, these crusades were influential in shaping European history. The volume is attractively illustrated and has a great number of boxes and sidebars offering a more detailed examination of people and events that are mentioned in the main text. The work also includes ten essays on specific topics ranging from architecture to warfare. A timely last chapter looks at the current situation between Islam and the West. While this work downplays the severity of such events as the capture of Jerusalem during the First Crusade, it provides a useful introduction to the subject for students and interested readers alike. A fine addition to both public and academic libraries.-Robert J. Andrews, Duluth P.L. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.