In Distant Lands

A Short History of the Crusades
Narrated by: Joe Barrett
Length: 8 hrs
4.5 out of 5 stars (57 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the late fall of 1095, Pope Urban II gave a speech in Clermont, France, and set all of Europe into motion. As many as 150,000 people eventually responded to the call, leaving everything they knew behind to undertake what appeared to be a fool's mission: marching several thousand miles into enemy territory to reconquer Jerusalem for Christendom. Against all odds they succeeded, creating a Christian outpost in the heart of the Islamic world that lasted for the better part of two centuries.

Perhaps no other period in history is as misunderstood as the Crusades, and in this fast-paced account Lars Brownworth presents the entire story, from the first clash of Christendom and Islam in the dusty sands of Yarmouk to the fall of the last crusader state. Along the way he introduces the listener to an exotic world peopled by mighty emperors, doomed Templars, grasping generals, and ambitious peasants. Some of the most famous names of the Middle Ages - Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and the legendary Prester John - illuminate this era of splendor, adventure, and faith.

©2017 Lars Brownworth (P)2017 Tantor

What listeners say about In Distant Lands

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Great Book

Another excellent book from one of my favorite authors. Brownworth does a great job of diving into the minutiae of the events in question without taking away from the enjoyability of the book. Dovetails nicely with his earlier “The Normans” and “Lost to the West”

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Easy to follow

Enjoyable. Easy to follow and brought out interesting detail abot the figures that--while not always essential to the storyline--enjoyable and entertaining additions.

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Clear and concise

Lars Brownsworth is great for clear and concise, mildy-conservative histories. This work really clears up the Crusades and makes it all easy to grasp. Only criticism - some of Lars' numbering (i.e., "The First Crusade", the "Fourth Crusade") does not necessarily jive with the "official" numbering of Crusades. This is easily overlooked. Overall, an essential tool for insight into such an important time, and an antidote to the usual artificial knowledge of what this time really meant to the world.

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Pretty Good

Good story overall. Not as good as Lost To The West. Also, Lars should narrate his own stuff.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-11-18

Concise, articulate and always entertaining

Excellent book for anyone interested in the crusades. Delightful written, easy to understand whole remaining very nuanced and often humourous. Couldn't stop listening!

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  • Alex Fenwick
  • 05-01-18

A very fine account

As with most history books, I approached this with some trepidation, quickly expecting to get lost in turgid detail. I needn’t have worried. This is a highly listenable book, full of interesting accounts and wry observation. He brings the characters to life beautifully. I was incredibly impressed. Joe Barrett’s Reading is also of similarly fine quality.