Writing with a keen sense of historical detail and drama, Reston traces the complex path by which Saladin and Richard came to face each other on the field of battle. The Crusades, he observes, began "as a measure to redirect the energies of warring European barons from their bloody, local disputes into a 'noble' quest to reclaim the Holy Land from the 'infidel'." Of the five Crusades over 200 years, only the first was successful, to the extent that the Christian armies were able to conquer their objective of Jerusalem. The Third Crusade, as Reston ably shows, was complicated by fierce rivalries among the Christian leaders, by a chain of military disasters that led to the destruction of an invading German army and its emperor, and by the dedication of an opposing Islamic army that shared both a goal and a language.
Saladin, Reston writes, was a brilliant leader and a merciful victor, but capable of costly errors; Richard was extraordinarily skilled at combat, but his lack of resolve cost him many battles, and, ultimately, Jerusalem. Richard returned to Europe, Saladin to Damascus. Neither leader has long to live, and the peace they made would soon be broken. James Reston's splendid book does them both honor while examining a conflict that has never really ended. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
This book was the most interesting book on the history of the crusades i have ever read.
IF I read more on this period perhaps I will be set straight about liberties that may have been taken by Reston while writing a history that I found very engrossing.
The fact that this work was not intended by the author to be a scholarly study does not excuse its lack of historical basis.
Excellent coverage of the Third Crusade and the two leaders, Richard the Lion-Hearted and Saladin, along with many of the lesser leaders. An unforgiving era for all. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Glenn D. Robinson
This is a very readable account of the most famous Crusade (Second). I recommend it to anyone interested in that area of history. I would buy it again.Published 7 months ago by John Alden
I chose the book because I wanted a different perspective to the one usually doled out to the masses. It met up with all my expectations, and then some.Published 8 months ago by Janet Hughes
I use a lot of books in my research. As such both the table of contents and index are vital in helping me get information quickly. Even worse. Read morePublished 9 months ago by keyblader
Not overly rigorous or excessively analytical, but, to be fair, rather entertaining. Contrary to what some other reviewers said, I did not feel like the author picked Saladin as... Read morePublished 12 months ago by GC33
Don't let the words of crabby scholars steer you astray. Reston's accout of Richard the Lionheart and Saladin reads like an adventure novel. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Paul J
All was Great! It arrived in good condition and speedily. I will very much enjoy this work as I prepare to write my novel.Published 13 months ago by Maximilian K. Biltz
Enjoyed reading this book. The author made a very respectful effort to portray the historical events of the third crusade in a very beep informative way but beautiful novelist... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Abdulrahman A. Alhashim