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Crusaders: The Epic History of the Wars for the Holy Lands, by Dan Jones

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 New York Times bestselling author of The Templars.

For more than one thousand 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.

crusaders dan jones book cover

“… comprehensive and bloodcurdling examination of the Crusades. Jones’s greatest skill as a historian is to bring his subject alive by combining small, often comic detail with the grand cinematic sweep of an epic… A considerable achievement.

The Guardian

“Voyages, battles, sieges and slaughter: Dan Jones’s tumultuous and thrilling history of the crusades is one of the best…Jones is exceptionally good at giving evocative snapshots of medieval life, sometimes poignant, sometimes pure Monty Python”

Sunday Times

“This is rollercoaster history… Dan Jones has a nose for the dramatic, disgusting and bizarre… Every page of his extraordinary book provides vivid evidence of the Crusades’ continuing ability to mesmerise”

The Times

“A fresh and vibrant account of a conflict that raged across medieval centuries”

Jonathan Phillips

“What Dan Jones will do is take you through the crusades one by one and introduce you to the movers and shakers on both sides of the conflict in each period… With Jones at the tiller, I found myself getting caught up in the actions of the Crusaders. There were many moments where his descriptive powers had me enthralled.”

Jeffrey Keeten (Author), via Goodreads
“Dan Jones Explains Every Medieval Crusade In Order” – via History Hit

“A powerful story brilliantly told. Dan Jones writes with pace, wit and insight”

Helen Castor

“Dan Jones writes every history book as through it were a Netflix drama”

Yorkshire Post

“Dan Jones has the priceless ability to write page-turning narrative history underpinned by authoritative scholarship. Never before has the era of the Crusades been depicted in such bright and striking colours, or their story told with such gusto”

Edinburgh Reporter

“an exceptionally well-written – and relevant – rip-roaring tour through the Crusades and a wonderfully colourful introduction to the people who lived through them, fought in them, ran away from them, and made them happen. As such, I can’t recommend Crusaders enough.”

Debbie Kilroy, via Get History

“Enlightening… I was blown away with how truly remarkable this book was to read. Jones’s combination of a plethora of facts with an engaging and comprehensive writing style brought the Crusades back to life.”

Adventures of a Tudor Nerd

“History crackles in Jones’ assured hands.”

The Christian Science Monitor

Crusaders: The Epic History of the Wars for the Holy Lands – Book

$48

By Dan Jones 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 New York Times bestselling author of The Templars. For more than one thousand years, Christians and Muslims lived side by side, sometimes at peace…

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