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Extended Audio Sample God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades, by Rodney Stark Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rodney Stark Narrator: David Drummond Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In God’s Battalions, award-winning author Rodney Stark takes on the long-held view that the Crusades were the first round of European colonialism, conducted for land, loot, and converts by barbarian Christians who victimized the cultivated Muslims. To the contrary, Stark argues that the Crusades were the first military response to unwarranted Muslim terrorist aggression.

Stark reviews the history of the seven major Crusades from 1095 to 1291, demonstrating that the Crusades were precipitated by Islamic provocations, centuries of bloody attempts to colonize the West, and sudden attacks on Christian pilgrims and holy places. Although the Crusades were initiated by a plea from the pope, Stark argues that this had nothing to do with any elaborate design of the Christian world to convert all Muslims to Christianity by force of arms. Given current tensions in the Middle East and terrorist attacks around the world, Stark’s views are a thought-provoking contribution to our understanding and are sure to spark debate.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An excitingly readable distillation of the new, revisionist Crusades historiography.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Filled with fascinating historical glimpses of monks and Templars, priests and pilgrims, kings and contemplatives, Stark pulls it all together and challenges us to reconsider our view of the Crusades.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Drummond gives a splendid reading of Stark’s work…While his vocal touch may be light, his disciplined delivery is strong, clear, and consistently controlled.”

    AudioFile

  • God’s Battalions launches a frontal assault on the comfortable myths that scholars have popularized about the crusades. The results are startling.”

    Philip Jenkins, author of The Lost History of Christianity

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About the Author
Author Rodney Stark

Rodney Stark grew up in Jamestown, North Dakota, and began his career as a newspaper reporter. Following a tour of duty in the United States Army, he received his PhD from the University of California–Berkeley, where he held appointments as a research sociologist at the Survey Research Center and at the Center for the Study of Law and Society. He left Berkeley to become professor of sociology and of comparative religion at the University of Washington. In 2004 he joined the faculty of Baylor University. He has published over thirty books and more than 160 scholarly articles on subjects as diverse as prejudice, crime, suicide, and city life in ancient Rome.