Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

The Crusades to the Holy Land: The Essential Reference Guide

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

The Crusades to the Holy Land: The Essential Reference Guide

Article excerpt

The Crusades to the Holy Land: The Essential Reference Guide. Edited by Alan V. Murray. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2015. 330 pages. Acid free $89 (ISBN: 978-161069-779-8). E-book available (978-1-61069-780-4), call for pricing.

Murray has pulled together an accessible and informative reference guide to the crusades from the Council of Clermont in 1095 until the final surrender of Christian-held territories in Palestine and Syria at the end of the thirteenth century.

Essays range from one column to six pages in this textbook-sized, single volume. They cover topics including the various crusades, sources from the various ethnic and national groups involved in the crusades, important people, tribes, places, and discussions of subjects such as "Castles" and "Preaching and Sermons." Essays include suggestions for further reading.

The work includes both Christian and Muslim subjects, and it maintains an objective voice throughout, but the focus gravitates toward the European history of the crusades. Because of its fairness and accessibility, it would work well in a collection limited to one reference volume specifically about the crusades, and would be preferable in this role to a work such as Carole Hillebrand's Crusades: Islamic Perspectives (Edinburgh University Press, 1999). However, Hillebrand's work would complement this work as a conscious step away from default western perspectives. …

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