Thomas F. Madden
Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014 (originally published in 1999)
Most of us know only the basics of the Crusades. For example, we know that the Crusades were a series of religious wars between Christians and Muslims started primarily to secure control of holy sites considered sacred by both groups. We know that there were several major Crusade expeditions between 1096 and 1291 and other smaller ones later. The bloody, violent and often ruthless conflicts propelled the status of European Christians, making them major players in the fight for land in theMiddle East. The Concise History of the Crusades fills in many of the gaps in our knowledge of the Crusades. The book is called “concise” in the title, but for someone like me who had such a meager knowledge of this period of the Middle Ages it seemed quite detailed. The author is Thomas F. Madden, an American historian, who was formerly the Chair of the HistoryDepartment at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, MO and Director of Saint Louis University’s Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. To give you an idea both of the content of this interesting book, as well as a little about the author, I encourage you to watch the following half-hour YouTube video. It gives a far more complete and interesting summary than I could give here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orQPNabM4xc. By the way, this book and its author became much more in demand three years after it was originally published in light of the terrorists’ attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001.HG
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