There are periods in history that over the years and through the skillful craft of storytellers have become romanticized. When that happens, myth takes over fact and the average person knows less and less of the truth of that era. Such was the time of the Crusades.
In The Crusades: History and Myths Revealed
by Michael Paine you will discover a rich exploration of the truth of the Crusades and a shedding of the over-simplified myths that have taken over most of that point in history. What I found in this book was a great resource for those that are not as familiar with the Crusades and would like to know more without getting too deep within it.
As I was reading this book, I was impressed by the amount and assortment of pictures that were presented throughout the book. They brought to life the text and added new learning to what the words were conveying. Maps as well as art were featured from all the centuries since the Crusades that depicted the various scenes that comprised all the campaigns.
You will discover that this book is not an exhaustive text and is not meant to be a piece of scholarly work. It vividly educates the reader to the fact that there were more just one or two Crusades and that the motives behind them were varied. There is no idealized meaning for them, nor is there a biased slant. Objective views on the Islamic world that the first Crusade encountered as well as that of the driving forces that led to the Crusades are laid out for the reader to absorb.
One of the impressive things about the book is that I learned more about the changes in the Middle East that were occurring and how the Crusades influenced the course that history took in that region. The fortunes of many men were made due to the Crusades as well as many lives destroyed. Discussions of the political dealings and what drove leaders to team up help the reader understand the forces involved in the Crusades.
What You Get With This Book:
- Large number of visual aids to help bring the Crusades to life and educate the reader.
- Short chronology of events.
- Straight facts that are easy for anyone fifth grade and up can read and enjoy.
- A great reference book to accompany a study in the Crusades or to keep around to look back at periodically.
What You Do Not Get With This Book:
- In-depth scholastic discussions. This book was not meant to get too deep in the subject.
- A detailed list of events – the chronology is short and covers all the Crusades.
I thoroughly enjoyed the read and was impressed with all the pictures. If you are a visual person, you will love to get your hands on this book. If you are one that wants an exhaustive text that covers everything, then you might want to skip this book. For an introduction to the Crusades or as a supplement to their studies, it is an excellent choice.
Disclaimer: This book was purchased with my own funds and was not given to be in order to create this review.