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THE CRUSADER KINGDOMS

Muslims and Crusaders: Christianity's Wars in the Middle East 1095-1382, From the Islamic Sources

by Niall Christie


A Review

This is a succinct, well-organized and well-documented summary of Islamic perceptions and responses to the crusades. Christie excels at giving the reader insights into different perspectives, without thereby glossing over the errors, prejudices, and contradictions inherent in many these. He provides an analysis of the available Muslim sources, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses, as well as offering an extensive bibliography and recommended readings by topic. His profound understanding of Islamic society is evident in his writing, and I found his two-page note on Arabic names absolutely invaluable! (Wish I'd had it long ago.) His summary of Islamic beliefs is likewise cogent and free of polemics, while his "who's who" is a handy collection of short biographical notes very useful as a reference. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the crusades and the crusader states.