• The Crusades: The World's Debate

  • By: Hilaire Belloc
  • Narrated by: RJ Bayley
  • Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Europe
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953) - one of the most prominent Catholic authors of his time - gives a common-sense explanation of why the Crusades were necessary and why they ultimately failed. He argues that the personal and strategic failings of the First Crusade's leaders led to the establishment of a state that could not be sustained and that the absence of such a state left Europe vulnerable to Islamic aggression for centuries afterward.

Writing in 1937, following the demise of the Ottoman Empire, Belloc believed that the West had finally gained the advantage over its mortal foe; however, he also includes a prophetic warning concerning the eventual resurgence of Islam and its enduring desire to destroy Christendom.

©2018 Cavalier Books (P)2018 Cavalier Books

What listeners say about The Crusades: The World's Debate

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Brutally Honest Assessment

Enjoyed listening to this honest account of the Crusades, the chaotic and savage era that were Medieval Ages. Saladdin often held up as a beacon of moderation in other opologist commentary is not shared in this account as relates to conquered foes. The whole tenor of the times was that of battle between castles, cities, areas of control notwithstanding a faith perspective on Holy Lands reclamation.

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Should be required reading for all Westerners

In our post-Christian era the word crusade has become a byword something for which we Westerners should be ashamed, yet in its historical context it is completely the opposite. Thank God for Hilaire Belloc and his succinct telling of the history of The Crusades.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-13-21

A masterpiece

This book is quite brilliant In content and narration, how refreshing to listen to an unapologetic account by a fellow Christian, as opposed to those of the modern era from arrogant detached historians.

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  • Chris
  • 03-24-21

Excellent accessible history

Excellent short history of the first 2 crusades, regretting tactical errors. Under the current meta is judged racist but scholarship in the period that this was written is far superior to that of today so well worth a listen. RJ Bayley narrates excellently and gives it the unapologetic confident reading that it deserves. I will be reading more Belloc who seems to be an important figure who has now been brushed under the carpet by the current establishment.

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  • Charles Pennyworth
  • 10-22-20

Engaging unapologetic history

'Historical' history books are often worth a look. As well as simple survival bias (low quality material is lost to time), they give you insight into both the period in question and the time in which they were written.

Hilaire Belloc was an unapologetic Catholic advocate and Victorian gentleman, considered old fashioned even in his own time. 'The Crusades' is an articulate and engaging account of those events from a pro-European perspective. It goes without saying there is not much attempt at balance or political correctness, don't go into it with those expectations.

Highly recommended.

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  • James Uscroft
  • 05-04-20

The Obsolete Ramblings Of A Long Dead Bigot

The bulk of this book consists almost entirely of an analysis of the period of the first and second Crusades up until the fall of Jerusalem; a summary which you can read pretty much anywhere, (except without this author's glaring oversights, disingenuous claims and outright lies,) combined with tediously dry analyses of the politics, geography and logistics of the era, rationalising the author's pet 'Armchair General' theory that if only the Crusaders had conquered Damascus, then Islam would have been destroyed and the Middle East would be Christian. But woven throughout this dry analysis and 'What If'-ing is all of the comedy gold of listening to self-proclaimed 'Historians' and 'Intellectuals' like Peter Hitchens, Sebastian Gorka or Dinesh D'Souza rant and rave about "The Clash Between Islam & The West" with none of the bitter aftertaste of knowing they're still alive and stoking Islamophobia across the world. Because after all, the author died in 1953.

Indeed, one has to wonder why anyone went to the time and trouble of publishing this long debunked Anti-Muslim polemic as an audiobook when, as I say, historians have long since eviscerated the 'Civilisation Against Barbarism' narrative of the Crusades. On top of which, as I also just mentioned, this book's descriptions of the events can be found in a much more accurate and less biased form on any Wikipedia page, and the author's pet theory is 'Academic' in the most derogatory sense of the term. So in the end, the only reason I can think of is that the entire premise of this book is built upon the same rabid paranoia (contradicted by the author's own analysis of the Muslim politics of the era) that Islam - a single, malevolent movement - seeks to invade and destroy 'Superior' Christian Europe that is the basis of all 21st Century Islamophobia as well. But still, if like me, you've listened to every other audiobook about the Crusades that you can find, are able to stomach the author's seemingly endless racist ranting against 'Mongels,' (Seljuk Turks,) 'Mixed Marriage' and 'Half-Breeds' and have never unironically claimed anything to the effect of "It's Not 'Islamophobia' Because My Fear Of Islam Isn't Irrational," then this might be good for a laugh.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-18-19

finally

finally a good book about the crusader effort well research.written and narrated.mr Belloc must be in heaven just for writing this book