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Everyone knows that the Crusades were horrible miscarriages of justice, and examples of Western Imperialism, right? The Pope called the Crusades to find a “release valve” for the warring knights in Europe and to rob the East of its wealth and to plunder the Arab states in the Holy Land. That’s the common take on the Crusades. The Crusades were assaults on the otherwise peace-loving Islamic nation-states. These and other myths are shattered to little pieces in this fascinating book.

Stark marshals impressive evidence that the common view of the Crusades is far from the truth in this fascinating account of the motivations of the Crusaders and the often overlooked reality of just what was happening in the Holy Land at the hands of Islamic armies bent on spreading Islam by force of arms.

If you have ever wondered if there is more to the story of the Crusades than the received wisdom we were all given in our basic history courses, you will enjoy this book, very much.

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