Publisher:  Rowman & Littlefield
Original Publisher:  Rowman & Littlefield
Published:  2013
Language:  English
Pages:   265

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About the Book

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.


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: The Later Crusades Chapter 10: The Legacy of the Crusades


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

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. (Previous Edition Praise)

--- James Reston Jr.; Washington Post Book World

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. (Previous Edition Praise)

--- The Catholic Historical Review

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. (Previous Edition Praise)

--- Alfred J. Andrea, University of Vermont

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. (Previous Edition Praise)

--- Paul Cobb, University of Notre Dame

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

--- Missiology: An International 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. (Previous Edition Praise)

--- New Oxford Review

A brilliant text and handbook for students, teachers, and all readers taking interest in the history of the Crusades. (Previous Edition Praise)

--- Byzantische Zeitschrift

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

--- Patrick J. Holt; H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online

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

--- The Historian

This enjoyable book is an excellent introduction for anyone interested in the Crusades. (Previous Edition Praise)

--- World History Connected

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

--- Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations

Madden's small, accessible book is comprehensive, judicious, and fair. It should be required reading for anyone presuming to discuss crusading, crusaders, and the Crusades. (Previous Edition Praise)

--- Catholic Missourian

Thomas Madden brings fresh understanding to these blemished, but at heart noble, efforts to defend the core of medieval European culture. (Previous Edition Praise)

--- Rev. William H. Scarle; Leader Times

Madden's books are the best. (Previous Edition Praise)

--- John F. Fink; Criterion

Exactly the right amount of information in just enough detail to hold the students' attention without overwhelming them. (Previous Edition Praise)

--- Kimberly Rivers, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh

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

--- James Powell, Syracuse University

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.

--- American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences

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.

--- Speculum