Uniquely multi-perspective, the anthology juxtaposes the recorded experiences and views of participants on the opposing sides in the Crusades. Each chapter focuses on an event, such as the Crusader massacre of the inhabitants of Jerusalem in 1099 and the Siege of Damascus in 1148, and is supported by commentary. Including some sources never before translated into English, the collection applies new perspectives to a popular and much-studied topic.
In tone and range, the anthology occupies the middle ground between flimsy popular works lacking source analysis and heavy-duty scholarly works too narrow in scope to appeal to anyone but the specialist. It is perfect for college undergraduates, high school students and readers with a general interest in medieval history. The carefully-chosen contrasting contemporary views of key events, including eyewitness accounts, memoirs and elite views, are laid out in a clear and easy-to-follow format with introductory texts and contextual notes. Together, they provide a unique introduction to the most controversial events of the crusades, allowing readers to formulate their own opinions of them.