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The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives (Islamic Surveys) 1st Edition
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A magisterial and path-breaking study in its own right … a veritable treasure trove of material heretofore unavailable to the non-Arabist … The Crusades is a masterly and welcome contribution to the historiography of the Crusades. Hillenbrand has set an enviable standard of scholarship from which teachers and students of the Crusades, the medieval Middle East, and medieval Europe will long benefit.
It is a major contribution …The book is profusely illustrated and the illustrations are on the whole well chosen.
Hillenbrand's admirable book, the first comprehensive attempt to pull together the relevant Muslim texts on these wars, lets the sources speak for themselves, and provides intriguing insights into the deeply rooted problems which face us today … she has done a masterful job, providing us with a whole new way to examine the traditional western material on the Crusades.
This is ground-breaking work, and its value lies not only in the detailed reportage, but also in the way Carole Hillenbrand gives western historians a guide to source material, either unknown to them or available only in partial translation, and introduces her readers to the mindset of medieval Muslims, providing an entirely different angle from which to look at the crusading movement. By putting modern ideas into context the book will enable readers in both the western and Islamic worlds to understand better events which to some extent are shaping the present. -- Jonathan Riley-Smith
About the Author
Carole Hillenbrand is honorary profesorial fellow, professor emerita, University of Edinburgh. In 2005 she became the first non-Muslim scholar to be awarded the prestigious King Faisal International Prize for Islamic Studies, reflecting her "revolutionary approach to the largely one-sided subject of the Crusades." She is author of The Waning of the Umayyad Caliphate; A Muslim Principality in Crusader Times; editor of The Sultan's Turret; and, with C. E. Bosworth, coeditor of Qajar Iran.
- Item Weight : 3.77 pounds
- Paperback : 704 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0748606300
- ISBN-13 : 978-0748606306
- Dimensions : 9.7 x 1.4 x 7.5 inches
- Publisher : Edinburgh University Press; 1st edition (July 28, 1999)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,087,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Carole Hillenbrand, though in her 70s at the moment, has been at the forefront of innovative scholarship that aims to overturn this practice, and make use of the wealth of Arabic sources that have hitherto gone untapped. Her book is enormously useful, featuring a wealth of previously untranslated material as well as choice excerpts from other texts. Even were this not a sadly unexplored field, her work, and her insightful analysis and conclusions would be counted as a triumph of scholarship.
All in all, this is a truly fantastic book, and one that will be of particular value for academics and dedicated students of Medieval Middle Eastern History. Though competently written and engaging in style, it does not really offer a traditional 'narrative' in the same way that many conventional books about the Crusades do. This is by design, owing both to the nature of Hillenbrand's multi-layered anyalysis, and her declaration historians have still scarcely touched the surface of Islamic perspectives of the Crusades. For those seeking a narrative history of the Crusades that explores Islamic perspectives, I would instead suggest Paul Cobb's 'The Race for Paradise', or P.M. Holt's 'The Age of the Crusades'. Regardless, Hillenbrand's work is a triumph worthy of inclusion in any library.