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The Crusades: A Very Short Introduction by…

The Crusades: A Very Short Introduction (2004)

by Christopher Tyerman

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401326,637 (3.25)10
  1. 10
    God's War: A New History of the Crusades by Christopher Tyerman (kkunker)
    kkunker: Tyerman's introduction is very good for a quick overview. To those who want an in-depth and detailed read I'd suggest God's War.
  2. 00
    The New Concise History of the Crusades by Thomas F. Madden (nathanm)
    nathanm: Far better introduction to the Crusades.

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This is a well-written book that focuses too much on the historical interpretation of the Crusades, rather than on the Crusades themselves. Look elsewhere for a more traditional history. ( )
2 vote ValeStrasse | Mar 22, 2015 |
Tyerman’s short introduction to the crusades provides a brief overview of the events and major theatres of the crusade, at the same time he relates detailed specifics and anecdotal stories. I enjoyed reading his book, and found it to be a good balance of detail with general broad definitions. One of Tyerman’s reasons for writing the book is to correct many of the images that people have in their minds of the “crusader.” He debunk's the Romantic views, armoured knights were not riding around on horses defeating every foe they came across. He also dispels the lust for plunder; younger sons were not running off to the Holy Land to make their fortunes. Most people who 'took the Cross' invested huge sums of money and resources to be able to make the trip. Crusading was not a get rich quick operation. He is very careful to stress that religious devotion and penitential aspects were the main motivations for Europeans to go on crusade, either in the Middle East, Spain or the Baltic.

Tyerman gave a nice brief outline of what happened in each of the major Crusades, categorizing them by geographic locations. The timeline and subject jumps around a bit, but isn’t that hard to follow. I’d recommend this book to anyone who wants to get a basic understanding of what happened in the Crusades. Tyerman did a good job of making the Crusades understandable and he did a good job of undoing some negative but persistent stereotypes that have existed for a while. I’ve read a couple of books in the A Very Short Introduction series and these books seem to be relatively short, easily accessible, yet detailed and specific enough to give the reader a general understanding of the topic. They aren’t so vague that you come away without learning anything; but they aren’t extremely dense and detailed that you get lost. They are meant to be read by anyone. In my opinion Tyerman does just that. ( )
1 vote kkunker | Feb 10, 2011 |
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Between 1189 and 1191, a cosmopolitan army of western invaders besieged the Palestinian coastal city of Acre, modern Akko.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0192806556, Paperback)

With flair and originality, Christopher Tyerman presents a clear and lively discussion of the Crusades, bringing together issues of colonialism, cultural exchange, economic exploitation, and the relationship between past and present. He considers the effects of the Crusades on ordinary life in Western Europe, and the parts played by ordinary men and women in the conflict, and explores the term "Crusade" for contemporary political ends. Whether the Crusades are regarded as the most romantic of Christian expeditions, or the last of the barbarian invasions, they have fascinated generations ever since, and their legacy of ideas and imagery has resonated through the centuries, inspiring Hollywood movies and great works of literature. In this book, Tyerman skillfully weaves together one of the most extraordinary and vivid episodes in world history.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:34 -0400)

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Crusading fervour gripped Europe for over 200 years, creating one of the most vivid episodes in world history, inspiring Hollywood movies and great works of literature. Christopher Tyerman presents a lively discussion of the Crusades, bringing together issues of colonialism, cultural exchange and economic exploitation.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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