The Crusades Thomas Madden Summary

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Thomas F. Madden’s The Concise History of the Crusades focuses on the Holy Land between 1095 and 1291. In the foreword, Madden explains that, “the heightened public interest in the Crusades since 9/11 has created a market for popular histories (Madden, viii).” This is important to note, as his previous editions of the book were not as focused on the idea of present day relations between the Islamic and Western world. While Madden answers the question of what the relationship is between the medieval Crusades and the problems of modern Israel, his argument throughout the monograph follows a traditionalist account that of the Crusades as being tied to Jerusalem as a destination. However, it can be understood by the reader that Madden’s main argument answers the question, what were the motivations of the Crusades, and how have the Crusades contributed to Islamic rage and terrorism today? While many accounts of the Crusades focus on the raping and sacking of cities, Madden defends and explains the Crusades motivations throughout the text as a response to Muslim advances. However, to completely understand what Madden is arguing, he explains how men began to join the Crusades and why. Simply put, Madden explains the theory of the pious…show more content…
In the chapter, “Crusading at Home”, Madden does a good job of describing the difficulty of converting Crusader zeal to domestic problems. However, he reminds us also that in the sixteenth century Pope Leo X “was so involved in preserving Christendom from the dire threat to the East that he failed to recognize the greater danger from within (Madden, 209).” Both examples help the reader understand a perspective that is dealing with an issue at the time and not from a historian knowing what the outcome was centuries

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