Concise History of the Crusades / Edition 256

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Overview

'God wills it!' With that cry of medieval knights a new era in European history began. Across Europe a wave of pious enthusiasm led many thousands to leave their homes, family, and friends to march to a distant land 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 undertood today. This book places the crusades within the medieval social, economic, religious, and intellectual environments that gave birth to the movement and nurtured it for centuries. The events of the crusades to Palestine and Europe's periphery are narrated in a clear, concise, and compelling manner. Special attention is also given to the crusades' effects on the Islamic world and the Christian Byzantine East. Also included is a historiographical overview of the subject as well as an up-to-date select biography.
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Editorial Reviews

Washington Post Book World
In little more than 200 pages, in crystal-clear and economical prose, Madden does a superb job of exposition. As an introduction to the vast literature of the crusades, this is a jewel of a book. It has all one needs to understand the epic nature of the various mobilizations and invasions, who the important players were and how they operated, and why what was for centuries romanticized as chivalrous has today become odious.
— James Reston Jr.
The Catholic Historical Review
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 Historian
Readers will owe Thomas Madden warm thanks for so clear an introductory account of so complex a phenomenon as a crusade.
H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online
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
Missiology: An International Review
A gripping narrative approach of the medieval social, economic, religious, and intellectual environments that gave birth to the Crusades and nurtured them for centuries.
Catholic Historical Review
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.
New Oxford Review
It is clear handling of a complex subject that lets the facts speak for themselves. The book, moreover, lives up to its title. It is concise, but not overly simplified. It would serve as a fine text for undergraduate history students.
Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations
Lucid, interesting, and lively. It certainly deserves to be listed in the bibliography for all undergraduate and school courses on the Crusades.
Alfred Andrea
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.
James Powell
Professor Madden has written a strong narrative of the crusades, focusing on the crusades to the East and on the major (or numbered) crusades.
H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online - Patrick J. Holt
Much praise is due to the author for giving us such a clear, concise picture of an ever-changing area of scholarship.
Washington Post Book World - James Reston Jr.
In little more than 200 pages, in crystal-clear and economical prose, Madden does a superb job of exposition. As an introduction to the vast literature of the crusades, this is a jewel of a book. It has all one needs to understand the epic nature of the various mobilizations and invasions, who the important players were and how they operated, and why what was for centuries romanticized as chivalrous has today become odious.
Byzantische Zeitschrift
A brilliant text and handbook for students, teachers and all readers taking interest in the history of the Crusades.
ForeWord Reviews
Madden’s clear text invites readers at all levels of knowledge into this commentary on how the crusades shaped our modern world. [He] convincingly shows how the crusades prove useful in understanding the political, cultural, and religious wars waged in today’s society. True to the book’s title, Madden manages to deftly discuss his research while maintaining a clear, approachable style that makes this text accessible to all levels of readers. . . . His ability to set the scene breathes life into the history. . . . The extent of Thomas Madden’s research is evident, and his ability to describe history in an interesting and clear manner will appeal to all readers who enjoy reading about the past, especially where it is examined within a modern context.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847694297
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/1999
  • Series: Critical Issues History Series
  • Edition number: 256
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 9.88 (w) x 6.16 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas F. Madden is professor of history and director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Saint Louis University. He is a widely recognized expert on the Crusades and Christian-Muslim relations and the author of numerous books, including The Fourth Crusade: The Conquest of Constantinople, Enrico Dandolo and the Rise of Venice, and Venice: A New History. Awards for his scholarship include the Haskins Medal (Medieval Academy of America) and the Otto Gründler Prize (Medieval Institute). He resides in St. Louis, Missouri.

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Table of Contents

List of Maps
Preface
1 The Call 1
2 The First Crusade 17
3 The Rise of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Second Crusade 39
4 The Decline of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Third Crusade 65
5 The Fourth Crusade 99
6 Crusading at Home 123
7 The Fifth Crusade and the Crusade of Frederick II 143
8 The Crusades of St. Louis 167
9 The Decline of Crusading 187
Afterword 213
Glossary 217
Select Bibliography 221
Sources in Translation 229
Index 233
About the Author 249
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2006

    A good little book

    The author uses a simple, straight-forward approach to explain the subject. Good overview of the crusades.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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