Jonathan Riley-Smith is Emeritus Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of Cambridge, UK. His many publications on the Crusades include What Were the Crusades? (2009), The Crusades, Christianity and Islam (2008) and The First Crusade and the Idea of Crusading (1986).
Jonathan Riley-Smith has had a greater impact on the study of the crusades than any living scholar, and his command of every aspect of crusading, from the identity of participants to the history of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, is exceptional. Although there have been many general histories of the crusades, this book is something quite different: it has a wide geographical and chronological range and addresses fundamental issues, not least what we mean by 'crusade', with unusual authority and with characteristic enthusiasm. The publication of this new edition that takes into account much recent research is a landmark in the study of the crusades. * David Abulafia FBA, Professor of Mediterranean History, Cambridge University, UK *