How have the crusades contributed to Islamist rage and terrorism today? Were the crusades the Christian equivalent of modern jihad? In this sweeping yet crisp history, Thomas F. Madden offers a brilliant and compelling narrative of the crusades and their contemporary relevance. Placing all the major crusades within their medieval social, economic, religious, and intellectual environments, Madden explores the uniquely medieval world that led untold thousands to leave their homes, family, and friends to march in Christ's name to distant lands. From Palestine and Europe's farthest reaches, each crusade is recounted in clear, concise narrative. The author gives special attention as well to the crusades' effects on the Islamic world and the Christian Byzantine East.
“In crystal-clear and economical prose, Madden does a superb job of exposition. As an introduction to the vast literature of the crusades, this is a jewel of a book.” (Washington Post Book World)
“Readers will owe Thomas Madden warm thanks for so clear an introductory account of so complex a phenomenon as a crusade.” (The Historian)
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Sadly no. Thomas Madden is a respected historian and this is an important book. I have enjoyed many of his lectures given, of course, in his own voice. This book is all but ruined by the narrator. I'm at a loss to understand how anyone let him have the job! His cadence is slow and plodding, and he does not seem to understand what he's reading enough to give it proper inflection.This book should read like the exciting adventure story that it is. Instead I find my mind wondering off pretty frequently while trying to listen. Particularly grating is his pronunciation of any and all foreign (non-English) names. He butchers the French names in particular and his attempts at German are so bad - they sound like something out of a Porky Pig cartoon. Not kidding.Each time he stumbled over a name it was a distraction from the narrative. I have a degree in History and love listening to history books, but I am having a hard time getting through this one. Professor Madden ought to demand a do-over.
Never, ever, ever.
Audible - two words for you: Quality Control.
- MK Miller
Overview of the Crusades and their Place In Histor
This book is a great overview of the Crusades and their historical significance. By its own admission it is not extremely in depth which I think is helpful, it gives you an overview of the story. Some specific instances of battles and their consequences. It doesn't get bogged down in any minutia that some historians feel the need to do.
I was very glad the book went into the the role the Mongols played in the Crusades whom I have studied quite a bit.
The narrator did an excellent job and really kept the flow of the book going well. If you are like me and listen on the iOS Audible app at 2x or 3x speeds, Claton Butcher's voice easily handles the speed increase without sounding clipped.
Enjoy this book.