Warriors of God

Warriors of God

Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade

Book - 2001
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The epic story of the battle for the Holy Land and the two larger-than-life figures at its center. James Reston, Jr., the author ofGalileo: A Life(called "masterful" and "brilliant" by theWashington Post) and the critically laudedThe Last Apocalypse,a stunningly original portrait of the Christian world at the turn of first millennium, now re-creates the collision of the Christian holy wars and the Muslim jihad at the end of the twelfth century. A dual biography of the legendary Richard the Lionheart and the Sultan Saladin, iconic hero of the Islamic world,Warriors of Godrecounts the life of each man and reveals the passions of the times that brought them face-to-face in the final battle of the Third Crusade. Richard the Lionheart, commonly depicted as the romantic personification of chivalry, here emerges in his full complexity and contradictions as Reston examines the dark side of Richard's role as the leader of the blood-soaked Crusades and breaks new ground by openly discussing Richard's homosexuality. Reston's compelling portrait of Saladin brings to life the wise, highly cultured leader who realized an enduring Arab dream by uniting Egypt and Syria and whose conquest of Jerusalem not only sparked the Third Crusade but ignited the first jihad and turned Saladin into a hero of epic proportions. In riveting descriptions, Reston captures the fascinating clash of the two armies as they battled their way to the outskirts of Jerusalem. There, Saladin's brilliant maneuvers and Richard's sudden failure of nerve turned the tide. Sweeping readers into a mesmerizing period of history,Warriors of Godis a provocative look at two towering leaders and the not always noble causes for which they fought.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, 2001.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780385495615
0385495617
Branch Call Number: 942.0320922 R313
Characteristics: xx, 364 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm

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Cosmopolites
Apr 10, 2016

In this dual biography by James Reston, Jr, he chronologically tells the tale of the two men he writes of, in a way that reminds me more of a fictional historical novel than a history book written by a historical scholar. He takes too much of Roger of Howden's remark "that no bed separated them (Richard I and Philip II Augustus)". He also says William I of Sicily cried at the fall of Jerusalem and Joan, sister of Richard protested to being married to Al-Adil, Saladin's brother; both instances being a-historical. If you know your proper historical facts, this book might be a good place to start for a study of the rulers it speaks of and the Third Crusade, but not a good book for the scholarly student.

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