The book will be welcome for tackling the Crusades from a fresh but important angle; the relations of the Crusader states with their neighbours, both Christian (the Byzantines) and, especially, Islamic - the rulers of Damascus, Aleppo, Baghdad, Cairo etc. It contributes to the very fashionable approach of seeing the Crusades as a prime example of early European colonialism, and investigating them much more for their social, political and ethnic impact on the region than for their ostensible ideological and religious motives. Holt uses original Arabic sources, which are generally difficult for Western historians, and therefore this book is an important addition to literature about the Crusades.
P.M. Holt was formerly Professor of the History of the Near and Middle East at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His previous publications include The Age of the Crusades and the Memoirs of a Syrian Prince.
Introduction1. The First Crusade and its Impact2. Politics and Warfare 0197-11193. From the Field of Blood to the Second Crusade 1119-11494. Nur Al-Din, Saladin and the Frankish States5. The Frankish States and the Later Ayyubids6. The Frankish States and the Early Mamluk SultansConclusionBibliography