The Crusades: The World's Debate
Publication Date: August 1, 2018
Nearly a thousand years ago, the Crusades helped shape the world we live in today and as such Hilaire Belloc takes the mantle of writes a history close to what actually happened in the Holy Land. The Crusades: The World's Debate is undoubtedly a brilliant analysis of what the Crusaders and their experience turned out to be. From the devastating battle of Manzikert to the taking of Jerusalem to the Moslem opponents and the fatal defeat at Hattin, Belloc spares no insignificant detail about how the state of the Crusaders were at each moment of the expedition. Furthermore, Belloc goes into detail about the state of European affairs, familial rivalry, West vs. East, and of course, the Mohammedan hordes that would at first falter, but later unite to remove the Christians. Overall, a great insight in what happened with the First or Great Crusade and why it failed and left us with a Holy Land in the hands of non-Christians.
Another great piece of history from Hilaire Belloc. In my opinion, it has been vastly superior in portraying a more truthful representation of what occurred than any common public school textbook could. It has also been a fun read and was so compelling, I couldn't put it down. Belloc writes with a certain tone that isn't exact (not least with the documents we have), but still manages to "hit the nail on the head". I'm amazed that I was ignorant of what really happened from 1095-1187, but thankfully know I know better and I'm glad I read it. 5 stars, although I wish I could give it more.