In God's Battalions, award-winning author Rodney Stark takes on the long-held view that the Crusades were the first round of European colonialism, conducted for land, loot, and converts by barbarian Christians who victimized the cultivated Muslims.
To the contrary, Stark argues that the Crusades were the first military response to unwarranted Muslim terrorist aggression. Stark reviews the history of the seven major Crusades from 1095 to 1291, demonstrating that the Crusades were precipitated by Islamic provocations, centuries of bloody attempts to colonize the West, and sudden attacks on Christian pilgrims and holy places. Although the Crusades were initiated by a plea from the pope, Stark argues that this had nothing to do with any elaborate design of the Christian world to convert all Muslims to Christianity by force of arms. Given current tensions in the Middle East and terrorist attacks around the world, Stark's views are a thought-provoking contribution to our understanding and are sure to spark debate.
"An excitingly readable distillation of the new, revisionist Crusades historiography." (Booklist)
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A lively and useful introduction
- Tad Davis
Mythbuster for Catholic Haters
This work hits several myths about the Crusades head on and provides historical evidence to expose their errors:
* The myths of why the RC Church called for the 1st Crusade
* The myth of the victimized peace-loving Muslims minding their own business
* The myth of the Crusader as a blood-thirsty, raping, greedy mercenary.
* The myth of Saladin the Noble Warrior
* The myths surrounding the Fall of Jerusalem
Stark is a fearless iconoclast when it comes to the myths progressives invent to support their anti-Western narrative.
Stark does not whitewash the atrocities that were committed by some of the Crusaders. He frequently acknowledges that bad things were committed by some Crusaders. The corrective he offers is a vision of the Crusades as understood by contemporaries, against the vision offered by Enlightenment-Progressive scholarship which interprets the entire history as evidence of why white, European Medieval Christians and the history they made should be condemned.
This and works like it are greatly needed.
- Mountain K9iner