With subtlety and exceptional sensitivity, Oldenbourg analyzes the complicated tangle of currents and ideas that motivated the Crusades. As Oldenbourg describes them, the Crusades were not simply a religious phenomenon, nor were they motivated by pure aggression. They were the result of a religious climate that led people of all walks of life to leave their homes and follow the unattainable ideal of heaven on earth. Oldenbourg evokes the entire structure of feudal society and reveals the ingenuity of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. The story is peopled with such great personalities as Bohemond, Tancred, Peter the Hermit, Godfrey of Bouillon, Saladin, and Richard the Lionheart.
©1966 Random House; (P)1997 Blackstone Audio Inc.
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.
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.
This is a well written book on the first three crusades that is in audio format. It is a good book to learn about the origins of the great clash, between the Islamic east and the Christian west, that is once again raging in the middle east. It is very informative and covers the subject quite well. I thoroughly enjoyed this audio book and recommend it to others as well.
Depending on the subject matter
Most of my friends aren't interested in history the way I am, but assuming I had some who were I would probably do so, but make sure to tell them that most of the book is very dry.
Yeah, I guess.
The book is very long which is good. It's very detailed. The descriptions of the battles are great. It could have been better. Maybe better imagery and a bit shorter. The last chapter went back over everything which isn't a bad idea, but just seemed to drag on. I'm glad I got it. It taught me a lot but for those who aren't really interested in this time, this isn't the book for you at all.
I wanted to learn and understand what in our history makes world so very angry with other religions and why so many people have such hatred for people who have a different religion then you do. This book is a little hard to follow as far as who the narrator is currently talking about, but it does give me great insight in to why the three main religions of the world fight so much over the holy land. I personally do not feel the hatred of the other religions that are different them mind. As I feel we should all LOVE everyone, but this book makes me understand why the angry is so very strong after 2000 years of fight over the holy land. It is hard to understand how so many kings fought wars believing that GOD wanted them to do so. Great book to understand the history of the holy land and the Crusades that have control this land for so very long. I can only pray for PEACE in the world & the holy land as I love all religion and respect them very much.
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