• Crusaders

  • The Epic History of the Wars for the Holy Lands
  • By: Dan Jones
  • Narrated by: Dan Jones
  • Length: 16 hrs and 7 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (672 ratings)

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By: Dan Jones
Narrated by: Dan Jones
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Publisher's summary

A major new history of the Crusades with an unprecedented wide scope, told in a tableau of portraits of people on all sides of the wars, from the author of Powers and Thrones.

For more than 1,000 years, Christians and Muslims lived side by side, sometimes at peace and sometimes at war. When Christian armies seized Jerusalem in 1099, they began the most notorious period of conflict between the two religions. Depending on who you ask, the fall of the holy city was either an inspiring legend or the greatest of horrors. In Crusaders, Dan Jones interrogates the many sides of the larger story, charting a deeply human and avowedly pluralist path through the crusading era.

Expanding the usual timeframe, Jones looks to the roots of Christian-Muslim relations in the eighth century and tracks the influence of crusading to present day. He widens the geographical focus to far-flung regions home to so-called enemies of the Church, including Spain, North Africa, southern France, and the Baltic states. By telling intimate stories of individual journeys, Jones illuminates these centuries of war not only from the perspective of popes and kings, but from Arab-Sicilian poets, Byzantine princesses, Sunni scholars, Shi'ite viziers, Mamluk slave soldiers, Mongol chieftains, and barefoot friars.

Crusading remains a rallying call to this day, but its role in the popular imagination ignores the cooperation and complicated coexistence that were just as much a feature of the period as warfare. The age-old relationships between faith, conquest, wealth, power, and trade meant that crusading was not only about fighting for the glory of God, but also, among other earthly reasons, about gold. In this richly dramatic narrative that gives voice to sources usually pushed to the margins, Dan Jones has written an authoritative survey of the holy wars with global scope and human focus.

©2019 Dan Jones (P)2019 Penguin Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic reviews

"Jones’s writing aims at a you-are-there effect . . . The immediacy of [his] book is enhanced by physical and psychological descriptions of the heroes and villains of the story . . . Some of Jones’s primary sources are little known, and even enthusiasts for the subject may never have heard of the Russian Daniel the Abbot, Saint Neophytos the Recluse, or La Chronique de Morigny."—The New York Review of Books

"Every page of [Dan Jones'] extraordinary book provides vivid evidence of the Crusades’ continuing ability to mesmerise...Amid the juicy anecdotes, the great strength of this book is the way in which it illuminates the human networks that underpinned the Crusades."—The Times (UK)

“Jones’ sweeping coverage of a conflict of three centuries’ duration hews to the highest standards of popular history. It is literate, thoroughly engaging, and serious, without condescension towards either its matter or its readers.”—Booklist (*starred*)

Editor's Pick

A cinematic approach to history
"Just about two years ago, I asked Dan Jones about his next book. He said, "There have been lots of books about the Crusades….I shall not be trying to redo or rewrite….I want to take it a step further and write a book...in which we follow characters through the Crusades. And they rotate somewhat in the way that George [R.R.] Martin actually has rotated his characters in his fictional work [in]…Westeros." The wait is over, listeners! I’m happy to report Crusaders lives up to its promise, a history title that feels like fiction! Plus, the author's precise but energetic narration adds to the charm."
Christina H., Audible Editor