Monday, February 15, 2010

The First Crusade: A New History by Thomas Asbridge

I have to admit that this book took me a while to get through. My fascination with the Crusades is deep, but not boundless. The section of the book explaining probable causes of the crusade, the politics, the preparations, etc. was very dry to me. Asbridge expounds upon the history of history - which I give you has merit. Each detail he gives adds a dimension to the overall picture and it is all relevant. I just found it a bit hard to get through. After that, though.. wow! Just wow! The descriptions are amazing, the facts fascinating, the pace quick. I love that he admits where only speculation is possible rather than trying to pass it all as fact. The moment the crusading armies set out I found it hard to put the book down.

If you like history, amazingly balanced history, then this book is for you. I even managed to get my homeschooled seven-year-old interested in the Crusades with this book!

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