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The Concise History of the Crusades
     

The Concise History of the Crusades

by Thomas F. Madden
 

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What is the relationship between the medieval crusades and the problems of the modern Middle East? Were the crusades the Christian equivalent of Muslim jihad? In this sweeping yet crisp history, Thomas F. Madden offers a brilliant and compelling narrative of the crusades and their contemporary relevance. Placing all of the major crusades within their medieval social,

Overview

What is the relationship between the medieval crusades and the problems of the modern Middle East? Were the crusades the Christian equivalent of Muslim jihad? In this sweeping yet crisp history, Thomas F. Madden offers a brilliant and compelling narrative of the crusades and their contemporary relevance. Placing all of the major crusades within their medieval social, economic, religious, and intellectual environments, Madden explores the uniquely medieval world that led untold thousands to leave their homes, families, and friends to march in Christ’s name to distant lands. 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.

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.
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.
American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences
Madden writes that the term and concept of the Crusades had been protean and exploited from the inception of the modern era. . . .For him, the historical understanding and popular perception of these campaigns have led to their condemnation. Yet he still defends them as an act of piety (i.e., bravery coupled with faith) and rejects the dominant perception that they are in any way responsible for modern tensions between the Middle East and the West.
Speculum
It is well written and well organized...[and is] designed primarily as a textbook. . . .This is a good book. It is very clear and also both interesting and enjoyable to read.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442215764
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
09/19/2013
Series:
Critical Issues in World and International History
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
264
Sales rank:
335,737
File size:
11 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

Alfred Andrea
This is a wonderful piece of work that will greatly add to the sum of crusade historiography...It is brilliantly executed.

Meet the Author

Thomas F. Madden is professor of history and director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Saint Louis University. A widely recognized expert on the Crusades and Christian-Muslim relations, he is 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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