[Download] God's Battalions: The Case for the Crusades By Rodney Stark

God's Battalions: The Case for the Crusades

By: Rodney Stark
Narrated by: David Drummond
Length: 8 hours
Release date: Dec 21, 2009
Rating: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (48 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)

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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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14 Responses to “[Download] God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades By Rodney Stark”

  1. Chastity Heyl

    This is a great book, week narrated, and very educational. And finally does justice to the truth concerning these events of long ago.

  2. Tracey Keovongxay

    Please tone it down
    The historical research (historical reference from secondary sources) in this book isn’t bad, while offering no new insight, the historical content is nonetheless, worth reading.

    Having said that, there are many better books/lectures on crusade than this one, the unabashed anti-islam polemnic in this book borders on offensive, one can write good balanced history without resorting to bias. I seriously recommend Thomas F. Madden’s Modern Scholar lecture “Understanding the crusade” before reading this.

  3. Darius Hergenrader

    Medieval spin
    I will not say this book is uninformative. It is, overall, a useful summary of SOME events leading to the Crusades and a description of battles, timetable, etc.
    But the author’s main purpose seem to be to counter some idiotic statements and actions by some in the west “apologizing” for the Crusades or saying that there was no “justification” for them — as though the Crusades could be apologized for or needed justifications. The trouble is that, in the process of countering this foolishness, the author engages in what can only be called “spin” — presenting questionable statements, half-truths or opinions for fact.
    For example, in trying to say that the Islamic world did not support new learning because what learning there was was being done by the peoples the Moslems conquered. But the fact is that such learning WAS occurring, unlike in the West. The author says that the European Dark Ages were really not so dark because the invention of the plough, cross-bow, and other technical developments took. A discussion of the advantages of the plough includes more grain, thus more food, thus a larger and healthier population. He does not mention the global warming that occurred during this time that probably played greater role in increased food. He discusses massacres of monks (Byzantine) and pilgrims by Moslems but doesnt discuss, for example, the reported massacre of 2000 Muslim prisoners by Richard the Lionhearted or the killings of Europeans by the Byzantines in Constantinople in 1182.
    There are many other discussable or equivocal statements, from the importance and use of crossbows to the killings of Jews by the Crusaders (which to me sounds minimized by the author when they were a horrible occurrance) at the starts of the Crusades. This has to be counted as “spin”.
    A perhaps useful book to start discussion, but not one to be taken as accurate in its particulars.

  4. Curtis Repenning

    Difficult to get through
    It was not so much about the crusades and the battles fought it was about the case for the crusades…

  5. Nancy

    God’s battalion
    Provides an in-depth analysis for the case of the Crusades. Something that has been lacking for many years in academia quite a compelling case unless the thought of having your wives and daughters in Berkus is appealing

  6. Louann Monckton

    Great and easy to follow.
    This book will capture your imagination and lust for history. I found it easy to follow with great plot twists. I recommend this book to any one who is remotely interested in the crusades of just the history of the Middle East.

  7. callin

    Great listen
    Narrator was great. This book unravels the myths and guilt that have been seen into it.

  8. Irish Selking

    Excellent Counter-Argument to Anti-Crusades Propoganda
    Stark destroys the myth of Islamic victimization by Crusaders. Islam by then had attacked and subjugated Christian communities in Egypt, North Africa, Spain, Southern Italy, etc. nor were the Europeans backwards compared to Islamic community’s at this time. Europeans were better farmers, boat builders, and sailors. And many of the advancements attributed to Islam, like Arabic numerals, which originated in India, came from elsewhere.

  9. Leon M.

    The author was all over the place. Difficult to follow. Lacked continuity. Interesting subject, poorly written

  10. Kiyoko Sarkisian

    Brilliant debunking of biased narratives with fact
    I thought that I was well read on The Crusades, but after finishing God’s Battalions I was blown away by Rodney Stark’s research. I had to verify for myself some of the findings because they were so contrary to everything I’d read before. Now I’m convinced that the popular narrative we accept in the West is so biased by ideological and anti-Catholic bias that it’s one of the most egregious examples of revisionist history.

  11. Oscar Li

    Great review of the Crusades
    As usual, Rodney Stark does a superb job telling what really happened in history. An enlightening review of the truth about the Crusades.

  12. Young Nabarowsky

    a wonderful quick summary of The Crusades
    I have read a previous Rodney Stark book and this one was equally exceptional. As an amateur historian I have found it is shocking how twisted the chronically of History has become in the last hundred years or so. Rodney Stark is a refreshing breath of air. this is a excellent quick read to help a person understand the not politically correct aspect of all of the Crusades. the performance of this audio version was really well done and did not detract from the book.

  13. Sherlyn Try

    Possibly true but not a convincing author
    I wanted to like this book – not because I am anti-Muslim but because I do think that, for a variety of reasons, much modern scholarship is hypercritical of Western history and much less critical of non-western history. Don’t misunderstand — much of western history is not honorable — however, the same can be said of other cultures and I don’t think the West is worse than any other. In fact, in spite of many defects, it has been the fountain of freedom and equality as well as technology, etc.

    Regarding this book, however, the author did not make a good case. What he said may well be true — but he did not make a case for it. What’s more, many times his argument seemed to be, “Yes, the Crusaders were bad but the Muslims were also bad and Eastern Orthodox Christians were without conscience (I am not Eastern Orthodox, btw).

    In the end, I was left to conclude that he started with an assumption and then wrote about it.

    I realize no one probably writes without bias, even when she/he tries, but I think we can get closer to the truth if we at least make the attempt. I did not feel I was closer to the actual truth after reading this book.

  14. Houston Rohal

    Timely and important
    Such a good book! So important to debunk the myths and bigotry of our times through education and open mindedness.

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