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Holy War: The Crusades and Their Impact on Today's World [Paperback]

By Karen Armstrong (Author)
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Item description for Holy War: The Crusades and Their Impact on Today's World by Karen Armstrong...

Covers the history of the Crusades, from Pope Urban II's call to holy war through its violent conflicts, while explaining their direct influence on the modern world's ongoing Middle East turbulence among Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Reprint. 12,500 first printing.

Publishers Description
Karen Armstrong, bestselling author of A History of God," "skillfully narrates this history of the Crusades with a view toward their profound and continuing influence.
In 1095 Pope Urban II summoned Christian warriors to take up the cross and reconquer the Holy Land. Thus began the holy wars that would focus the power of Europe against a common enemy and become the stuff of romantic legend. In reality the Crusades were a series of rabidly savage conflicts in the name of piety. And, as Armstrong demonstrates in this fascinating book, their legacy of religious violence continues today in the Middle East, where the age-old conflict of Christians, Jews, and Muslims persists.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Anchor Books
Pages   628
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.9" Width: 5.58" Height: 1.15"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 27, 2001
Publisher   Anchor
ISBN  0385721404  
ISBN13  9780385721400  

Availability  0 units.

More About Karen Armstrong

Karen Armstrong Karen Armstrong is one of the world's foremost scholars on religious affairs. She is the author of a number of bestselling books, including The Battle for God, Buddha, Jerusalem, A History of God, and Through the Narrow Gate, a memoir of her seven years as a nun. She lives in London.

Karen Armstrong currently resides in London. Karen Armstrong was born in 1944.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Middle East > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Middle East
3Books > Subjects > History > World > General
4Books > Subjects > History > World > Medieval
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality

Christian Product Categories
Books > Education (K-12) > Social Science > History

Reviews - What do customers think about Holy War: The Crusades and Their Impact on Today's World?

Prejudiced reviews  May 14, 2008
I have noticed that many who review karen armstrong's book & this one in specific, generally expect a complete christian victory & anything that balances the view is considered biased & untrue.
It is not a matter of who invaded the other first but what practices did the invader indulge in. Neither Islam nor Christianity condone invasions so we are dealing with a profane subject, a human trait not a religious one. Europeans simply used religion in their invasion of the levant & started a 2 century conflict that does resonate till today in the middle eastern pysche, though it should move on from that point, but obviously there are readers who are displeased to read that during the crusades the muslims were actually more civil than the christians. facts are hard sometimes & some cannot handle it, like some muslims today who think they are right on everything. karen Armstrong always writes with eloquence & clarity, her writings till now are very balanced no matter what some may say.
astounding  Apr 29, 2008
Erudition, understanding, compassion for the meak, weak and (deliberately?) misunderstood.Historiography as it should always be.
Armstrong  Apr 4, 2008
Enjoyable reading, concise, and direct. I forgot to mention informative. I have read four other books and each I treasure.
Armstrong vs. Riley-Smith  Dec 22, 2007
Karen Armstrong's "Holy War" is the first history of the Crusades I've read. (Disclaimer: I'm interested in history, but I'm not an academic.) I learned a lot from "Holy War" but I felt a need for other perspectives about this subject. Naturally I turned to this site to see what other reviewers suggest. I found a copy of "The Crusades - A History" by Jonathan Riley-Smith, a recommended author. I cannot believe these two authors are writing about the same subject.

Ms. Armstrong may have certain biases, and she needs a good editor to re-organize the contents of "Holy War". But when she writes about historical characters and events, they come alive. Mr. Riley's descriptions of the same characters and events are as dry and dusty as the arid hills near Hittin (or Hattin) just before the battle of 1187.

I'm still looking for an engaging history of the Crusades to complement Ms. Armstrong's fascinating (if flawed) book.

P.S. In my Anchor Books edition of "Holy War", Vasco Da Gama sailed around Cape Horn(!) to reach India. The relevance of Vasco Da Gama to the Crusades is debatable; his actual route around the Cape of Good Hope is not.
A Necessary Read  Jul 29, 2007
This book should be required reading for everyone - and especially for those who form policy in our government. Her book illustrates how important it is to remember the past to avoid being condemned to repeat it.

Armstrong deftly unravels the knots of Crusade history and draws parallels with current events. Her clear uncluttered writing make her well balnced analyses easy to follow. This book reminds me somewhat of Barbara Tuchman's excellent book A DISTANT MIRROR. The Glossary of Terms is useful, as are the notes for each chapter. The author makes it clear that we all need to strive for triple vision - the viewpoints of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

At first I was disconcerted by her chapters that jumped from several hunderd years ago to the present and then back again, but then I realized this was the only way to link the past and present problems, and she does an expert job.

Armstrong's evaluation of the Crusades, then colonisalism and finally combative foreign policy spares no one in the assigning of blame. It took me a long time to read the 539 pages carefully, but it was worth every minute. I highly recommend.

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