New Concise History of the Crusades (Critical Issues in History Series #105) / Edition 1

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Overview

How have the crusades contributed to Islamist rage and terrorism today? Were the crusades the Christian equivalent of modern jihad? In this sweeping yet crisp 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 Europe a wave of pious enthusiasm led many thousands to leave their homes, family, and friends to march to distant lands 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 understood today. Placing all the major crusades within the medieval 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. More information is available on the author's website.
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Editorial Reviews

Washington Post Book World
Praise for the first edition:

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 Historian
Praise for the first edition:

Readers will owe Thomas Madden warm thanks for so clear an introductory account of so complex a phenomenon as a crusade.

The Catholic Historical Review
Praise for the first edition:

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.

Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations
Praise for the first edition:

Lucid, interesting, and lively. It certainly deserves to be listed in the bibliography for all undergraduate and school courses on the Crusades.

New Oxford Review
Praise for the first edition:

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.

Catholic Historical Review
Praise for the first edition:

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.

Missiology: An International Review
Praise for the first edition:

A gripping narrative approach of the medieval social, economic, religious, and intellectual environments that gave birth to the Crusades and nurtured them for centuries.

H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online
Praise for the first edition:

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

Criterion
Madden's books are the best.
— John F. Fink
Leader Times
Thomas Madden brings fresh understanding to these blemished, but at heart noble efforts to defend the core of medieval European culture.
— Rev. William H. Scarle
Washington Post Book World - James Reston Jr.
Praise for the first edition:

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
Praise for the first edition:

A brilliant text and handbook for students, teachers, and all readers taking interest in the history of the Crusades.

H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online - Patrick J. Holt
Praise for the first edition:

Much praise is due to the author for giving us such a clear, concise picture of an ever-changing area of scholarship.

James Powell
Praise for the first edition:

Professor Madden has written a strong narrative of the crusades, focusing on the crusades to the East and on the major (or numbered) crusades.

Alfred Andrea
Praise for the first edition:

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.

Paul Cobb
I love this book. It is clearly and artfully written, user-friendly, and well-organized, with excellent maps and an up-to-date suggested readings and sources in translation section.
Kimberly Rivers
Exactly the right amount of information in just enough detail to hold the students' attention without overwhelming them.
Criterion - John F. Fink
Madden's books are the best.
Leader Times - Rev. William H. Scarle
Thomas Madden brings fresh understanding to these blemished, but at heart noble efforts to defend the core of medieval European culture.
Kristen Burkholder
An eminently readable narrative of the traditional crusades that places them within a larger context, both political and religious.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

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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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Call Chapter 2 The First Crusade Chapter 3 The Rise of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Second Crusade Chapter 4 The Decline of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Third Crusade Chapter 5 The Fourth Crusade Chapter 6 Crusading at Home Chapter 7 The Fifth Crusade and the Crusade of Frederick II Chapter 8 The Crusades of St. Louis Chapter 9 Later Crusades Chapter 10 The Legacy of the Crusades
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 3 of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Brilliant & Educational Readings on the European Crusades!

    This extraordinary and brilliant history has enriched my understanding of the crusades and their legacy. The book gives an introduction to the vast literature of the crusades a jewel of a book. The book is clearly and artfully written, user friendly easy to read and understand. Gives a excellent perspective view of the battles and errors and mistakes the European Crusades made during each battle in confronting the Arabs/Muslims in the Holy Lands! Depicts excellent Maps of ancient cities, routes taken by the European crusades. Plus it gives an excellent perspective view of how the Arabs/Muslims were able to conquer their Holy Lands back. A "Must Read" for anyone wanting to better understand the History of the Holy Wars and the Crusades and of the present War situation in the Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 26, 2012

    Recommended to anyone interested in the crusades

    I learned a lot about the crusades in this book, and gained understanding about key figures during the crusading era. I also gained a better understanding of the map in the Crusading Era, as well as more of an understanding of the society of the time. I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to gain a further understanding about the Crusades and the society based around them, as well as anyone interested trying to understand jihad. I feel that this book gave me more understanding about the Crusading Era as well as the culture based around crusading and the chivalric code. Madden did a great job on this book and that it is defiantly worth the read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 3 of 4 Customer Reviews

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