God's War: A New History of the Crusades
At long last: a new comprehensive treatment to replace dated views of the crusades. Don't miss God's War, by Christopher Tyerman, if you have an interest in the subject. From Harvard University Press:
"A stunning reinterpretation of the Crusades, revealed as both bloody political acts and a manifestation of a growing Christian communal identity. Tyerman uncovers a system of belief bound by aggression, paranoia, and wishful thinking, and a culture founded on war as an expression of worship, social discipline, and Christian charity... Drawing on all of the most recent scholarship, and told with great verve and authority, God's War is the definitive account of a fascinating and horrifying story that continues to haunt our contemporary world."And from Publisher's Weekly (via amazon):
"Tyerman demolishes our simplistic misconceptions... Abjuring sentimentality and avoiding clichés about a rapacious West and an innocent East, Tyerman focuses on the crusades' very human paradoxes: 'the inspirational idealism; utopianism armed with myopia; the elaborate, sincere intolerance; the diversity and complexity of motive and performance'... God's War is that very rare thing: a readable and vivid history written with the support of a formidable scholarly background, and it deserves to reach a wide audience."See previous posts on the crusades in context here and here.