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I must say, this is a lovely and detailed book as well as insightful and descriptive. However detailed description in this case is a double edged sword. I found it enjoyable, but I believe it could be too monotonous, in my opinion, the content of the book could be wrapped up in 14 hours, but because of the descriptive narrative, it was dragged on for 24 hours. This volume is overall, very enjoyable and accurate as far as the social condition of the 11-13 century Europe and Middle East.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful
A true classic of history, this great work by Oldenbourg seems a lasting treasure. She seems to have a familiarity with the mindset of the 11th century crusading Norman, the Byzantine, the Syrian Jacobite, the Armenian, the Turkoman, and the Moslem, from the peasant to Saladin himself. She takes us on a whirlwind tour of Syria in these fascinating decades of back-and-forth struggle, elucidating the motivations of the struggle, whether chivalrous, religious, or barbaric. This book is just as important for understanding the East as a history of the middle ages is for understanding the west.
21 of 22 people found this review helpful