For over 400 years, crusaders ("those signed by the cross"), out of Christian zeal, a declared love for their fellow man, and, in many cases, a simple desire for fortune, glory, and heavenly reward, marched to the Holy Land to battle both a real and perceived threat to their way of life and their religious beliefs. The story of the many crusades are filled with an unremitting passion to keep or return the home of Christianity to Christians. It is also filled with death, destruction, disorder, greed, avarice, and self-interest on all sides. Much of what occurred during the Crusades has come down to us today in the form of continued suspicion among religious ideologies - not only between Christians and Muslims, but also internally among Christian sects and, to some degree, among Muslim sects. There is certainly much to learn about our own history from a better understanding of the Crusades and what led so many to crusade.
©2005 Thomas F. Madden; (P)2005 Recorded Books
"Excellent short history"
As an introduction to the crusades this couldn't be better. Told in a series of lectures by the author, each is highly informative, and contain none of the self indulgent digressions you sometimes hear at university. The author has a good reading voice and clearly is on top of his subject. I will be trying more of this series.
"Madden Rules !"
God Wills It!: Understanding the Crusades, was my second set of lectures from Professor Madden (the first one being "Empire of Gold", the History of the Bizantine Empire).
As before, Professor Madden's lecture text does a splendid job of bringing to life a periof of history which everyone has heard about, but which very few people actually know, even superficially. If you like history and have ever wondered what the Crusades were REALLY all about, then these lectures are for you.
In addition, Professor Madden's delivery, which was a bit halting at times in the other set of lectures, is excellent in this one.
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