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How to Plan a Crusade

Religious War in the High Middle Ages
Narrated by: Clive Chafer
Length: 13 hrs and 53 mins
Categories: History, European
3.5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A spirited and sweeping account of how the Crusades really worked - and a revolutionary attempt to rethink how we understand the Middle Ages

The story of the wars and conquests initiated by the first Crusade and its successors is itself so compelling that most accounts move quickly from describing the Pope's calls to arms to the battlefield. In this highly original and enjoyable new book, Christopher Tyerman focuses on something obvious but overlooked: the massive, all-encompassing, and hugely costly business of actually preparing a crusade. The efforts of many thousands of men and women, who left their lands and families in western Europe and marched off to a highly uncertain future in the Holy Land and elsewhere, have never been sufficiently understood. Their actions raise a host of compelling questions about the nature of medieval society.

How to Plan a Crusade is remarkably illuminating on the diplomacy, communications, propaganda, use of mass media, medical care, equipment, voyages, money, weapons, wills, ransoms, animals, and the power of prayer during this dynamic era. It brings to life an extraordinary period of history in a new and surprising way.

©2018 Christopher Tyerman (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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One you need to read

I really wanted to like this one. This book just didn’t translate audibly. It’s very hard to follow in this format. And Clive Chafer is a great narrator, but this wasn’t a good fit. It was a bit too dry, although it is a serious subject. And that made it even more difficult to follow. Maybe next time...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Lots of info but ultimately inaffectual

If it weren’t for the fact that it was an audio book, I don’t think I would have gotten through it at all. The narrator while pleasant had a hard time keeping my attention. There are spots that are repeated due to bad editing which doesn’t surprise me with how dry the material is.

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Detailed analysis, Poor narration

Tyerman has assembled a plethora of details regarding the way Crusading leaders recruited armies, financed campaigns and the logistics behind it that reveal a rarely discussed, and yet enlightening side of the crusades. Unfortunately, the narrator's cadence can distract from the material at times. The odd way in which he ends every sentence drew me out of the mindset at times, not to mentioned there are a few lines throughout in which the narrator says the same line twice.