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In 1095, Pope Urban II called upon Christians to march under the banner of the Cross and save their brothers in the East from the advance of Islam. This vision of crusading Christianity dominated the events of the next two centuries and brought together people of all ages and backgrounds, sworn to spread Christianity and wrest the Holy Land from the Infidel. First published to accompany the acclaimed BBC television series, "Crusades" tells the compelling, often horrific, story of the fanatics and fantasists, knights and peasants who were caught up in these fervent times. It reveals how Muslims, Jews and Christians were massacred, and how the Crusades sowed the seeds of 'jihad', the holy war for Islam, a legacy that endures today.
Penguin Books Ltd
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UK Kirkus review
Published to accompany a major BBC television series, this is a readable, brilliantly illustrated introductory history of the 'forces of bigotry and righteous savagery' which were first unleashed in the 11th century. The authors argue that the racial hatred stirred up by Pope Urban II has a great deal to do with contemporary Western fear of the Arab world. The ardent belief of Western crusaders that their purpose in life was to crush the infidel using whatever means they had to hand, is contrasted with the learning and tolerence often shown by the Moslems. This extraordinarily bloody and desperate period of history is given refreshing treatment here, in a book packed full of fascinating pictures with lively text. (Kirkus UK)
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