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How to Plan a Crusade

Reason and Religious War in the High Middle Ages

Christopher Tyerman



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14 November 2016
The story of the wars and conquests initiated by the First Crusade and its successors is itself so compelling that most accounts move quickly from describing the Pope's calls to arms to the battlefield.

In this highly original and enjoyable new book, Christopher Tyerman focuses on something obvious but overlooked: the massive, all-encompassing and hugely costly business of actually preparing a crusade. The efforts of many thousands of men and women, who left their lands and families in Western Europe, and marched off to a highly uncertain future in the Holy Land and elsewhere have never been sufficiently understood. Their actions raise a host ofcompelling questions about the nature of medieval society.

How to Plan a Crusade is fascinating on diplomacy, communications, propaganda, the use of mass media, medical care, equipment, voyages, money, weapons, credit, wills, ransoms, animals, and the power of prayer. It brings to life an extraordinary era in a novel and surprising way.
By:   Christopher Tyerman
Imprint:   Penguin
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   338g
ISBN:   9780241954652
ISBN 10:   0241954657
Pages:   432
Publication Date:   14 November 2016
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Christopher Tyerman is a Fellow and Tutor in History at Hertford College, Oxford and Lecturer in Medieval History at New College, Oxford. He has written extensively on the crusades, most recently God's War: A New History of the Crusades and The Debate on the Crusades. He is also the editor of the Penguin Classics edition of the Chronicles of the First Crusade.

Reviews for How to Plan a Crusade: Reason and Religious War in the High Middle Ages

Wonderfully written and characteristically brilliant account of the logistics (and motivations) that underpinned the Crusades -- Peter Frankopan There is a deeper story here about the rise in Britain of both class structure and bureaucracy... -- Sinclair McKay * Telegraph * How to Plan a Crusade is serious and scholarly, the synthesis of decades of work on difficult, fragmented sources. Administrative records weren't routinely kept until around 1300, which makes Tyerman's task harder and more impressive...this is also a lively book, laced with wry asides and enough surprising details to pique the general reader. -- Jessie Childs * The Guardian * Tyerman's book is fascinating not just for what it has to tell us about the Crusades, but for the mirror it holds up to today's religious extremism -- Tom Holland * Mail on Sunday * Mining details on victualing and logistics 800 years ago is Tyerman's forte, and he throws them on to the page like chaff from a trebuchet... it is comprehensive, laying down a great skein of fact where there was only supposition (much of it false). And, as the West gears up for the crusade of 2015-16 against Islamic State, it is horribly timely. -- Giles Whittell * The Times * His deeply researched study is dedicated to exploring the relationship between human reason and religious war in all its aspects - justification, propaganda, recruitment, finance, logistics - to show us how 'reason made religious war possible.' -- Diarmaid MacCulloch * London Review of Books * An impressive synthesis of a complicated subject, presented in elegant, readable prose. Not many historians could have done it -- Jonathan Sumption * The Spectator *

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