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Download God's Battalions: The Case for the Crusades Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Gods Battalions: The Case for the Crusades (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Rodney Stark
3.87 out of 53.87 out of 53.87 out of 53.87 out of 53.87 out of 5 3.87 (23 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rodney Stark Narrator: David Drummond Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2009 ISBN:
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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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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frode | 2/16/2014

    " Excellent history. It debunked a number of popular myths about the Crusades. Stark writes well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 William D. | 2/6/2014

    " Not great history, but a nice corrective "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 1/29/2014

    " The book had a bit of a chip on its shoulder regarding the modern view of the Crusades as primitive, cruel Europeans colonizing civilized, cultured Muslim. The author keeps coming back to how the Muslims were as cruel as the Europeans and that the Byzantines were backstabbing and two-faced. He is not wrong and this book should be read in conjunction with other histories of the Crusades to even out biases in the other direction. It should not be read alone as the only history of the Crusades. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Njpb | 1/29/2014

    " A really fun,exciting, light summary of the Crusades. Does a good job of dispelling some of the historical myth-making that Voltaire began. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rick Davis | 1/22/2014

    " God's Battalions was simply a fascinating book. It raised many questions in my mind about the period of the Crusades; fortunately, the book has a nice long bibliography at the end, which I fully intend to plunder. I appreciated the copious citations as well. The only thing that could improve this book would be an index of names and places for easy reference. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aaron Meyer | 1/20/2014

    " I thought that the book was well done for what it was. This never was to be an extremely indepth historical text but rather a "case for the crusades". Over the years I have heard many who claim (in conversation) that we are to blame for the muslims hating us because of the crusades but I have always considered them off base. The muslims had been expanding and taking over christian lands for centuries and it was this aggression which finally created the need to strike back. This is what Mr. Stark shows well enough in his book and I applaud his stance. I am also happy to see him reiterate the need to view the extreme violence and massacres of the time not through the lenses of today's opinions but in their historical views of their own time. I find that I, in conversations, have to repeatedly remind people who criticize past events that they have to do this exact thing. Overall I would say its a good quick read and worthwhile to get a common sense view on the events. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nick Park | 1/16/2014

    " Good history of the Crusades. The author did sometimes seem to be pursuing an agenda, overcompensating for recent studies that have misrepresented the Crusades as being all about nasty Christians attacking noble Muslims. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steven Wedgeworth | 1/12/2014

    " Stark overreaches in this book. He makes a number of good points, but he comes off a bit too much like a Fox News anchorman by the end of it. It's clearly a reactionary piece, of some value, but should be read alongside other works. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 11/20/2013

    " Very informative. I don't know what it is about the period of time from approx 800 A.D to 1500's but all aspects of of life during that time period fascinate me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 10/19/2013

    " Well I just updated my rating to 4 stars. It was well written and gave a new perspective on the Crusades. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe | 8/5/2013

    " informative and interesting, you can claim "he's biased" but no crap, part of the title is: the case FOR the crusades. Yet he does in fact spout truths about both sides that are both good and bad, so how "biased" is it. I for one thought it was great. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenn | 7/20/2013

    " I think this book actually convinced me that the Crusades should not have happened, although the author was clearly arguing otherwise. To fight in the name of Christ does not seem to match NT theology, even though Stark makes a good historical and situational argument. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Troy Gibson | 6/26/2013

    " I was disappointed. It seemed more about what happened in the crusades than why the crusades happened. I thought it would be more of an explanation and explicit argument or defense or apology for the crusades. Still very informative though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jay | 6/16/2013

    " Got better as it went on. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve | 2/28/2012

    " Why isn't this viewpoint at least considered in modern education? The more I read on my own the more I really start to question my education. Well worth reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Winston | 10/15/2011

    " Loved this book. Stark writes to the point and clear. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Josh | 9/27/2011

    " Going forward, I cannot take any contemporary medieval historian, or 'authority' on the Crusades, if they have not read this brilliantly articulated and organised work and have it cited in their bibliography (or one of the other works Stark cites in defence of the Crusades). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tim | 6/9/2011

    " Cuts through the PC revisionist history believed by so many. Does a good job of explaining the motivation behind the crusades and the brutality on all sides. Fast paced and engaging. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hashim | 4/3/2011

    " Quite a baits view of the case for the crusaders that has some truth with diluted truth! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jay | 2/12/2011

    " Got better as it went on. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karl | 1/30/2011

    " I thought this was a very fair-handed book on the crusades. A must read for anyone interested in the topic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Troy | 1/10/2011

    " I was disappointed. It seemed more about what happened in the crusades than why the crusades happened. I thought it would be more of an explanation and explicit argument or defense or apology for the crusades. Still very informative though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 10/16/2010

    " Very informative. I don't know what it is about the period of time from approx 800 A.D to 1500's but all aspects of of life during that time period fascinate me. "

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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.

About the Narrator

David Drummond has made his living as an actor for over twenty-five years, appearing on stages large and small throughout the country and in Seattle, Washington, his hometown. He has narrated over thirty audiobooks, in genres ranging from current political commentary to historical nonfiction, fantasy, military, thrillers, and humor. He received an AudioFile Earphones Award for his first audiobook, Love ’Em or Lose ’Em: Getting Good People to Stay. When not narrating, he keeps busy writing plays and stories for children.