Sunday, 17 March 2013

Book Review - The Crusades: The War For the Holy Land

Memory is escaping me where exactly I picked this up - I'm pretty sure it was given me by a friend - but The Crusades: The War for the Holy Land was my main read for my flight to and from Seattle last week.

The book is a very detailed, 800-page history of the Crusades: it's a tie in to a BBC series (not the Terry Jones one) which isn't, sadly, yet available on DVD. Thomas Asbridge knows his stuff, though, and more importantly he manages to tell it over the 800 pages and several centuries in a way that isn't in the least dry or dull. As I generally can't sleep on planes, books that keep me awake are a good thing, and I have to say I really enjoyed this and learned a lot from it. He does an excellent job of covering both the Crusader and Muslim sides of the conflict, presenting both sides' views on events wherever the historical sources let him, as well as providing insights into the character and motiviations of the principals on both sides.

In short? If you're at all interested in the period, it's a very good retelling of events in the Holy Land. It's also (for an 800-pager) remarkably cheap, and well worth a read.

1 comment:

  1. I own and have read his book on the First Crusade and I would definitely recommend it.

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