For the final, each student will write a review of a book on the Crusades from the list below. In week six, you will have an opportunity to discuss your book with the whole class and relate its topic to the course content.
The books are arranged in broad topical categories to guide you in your selection. Some books are narrowly focused and may be written for a scholarly audience, while others are broader and aimed at a general reader. A few books may be collections of essays linked on a topic, and thus present some special conditions for reviewing. Some, like Amin Maalouf's The Crusades through Arab Eyes, are quite controversial, in which case you will need to look at some of the print reviews.
Week 1: Pick out a few that interest you and go look at them in the library during the first week. PLEASE DO NOT CHECK ANY OF THESE BOOKS OUT until you have your chosen book assigned to you. Please browse through them in the stacks and return the book to its proper place on the shelf so that other students in the class can find them. On Thursday of the first week, submit a list of three favorites, in order of preference. I will then assign them so that noone is doing the same book and so that we have a balance of topics. If you know of a book not on the list (there are thousands!) that you want to review, come ask me.
Weeks 2-4: Check your book out of the library and read it (see reading guidelines below).
Week 5: Begin analyzing the book and writing your review.
Week 6: Be prepared to give an oral report on your book in class. The written review is due on Friday, the last day of class, in lieu of a final exam.
Idea of crusades
Christianity and the Crusades
- *Brundage, James. Medieval Canon Law and the Crusader, Madison, Wis., and London, 1969. UHM KBG .B78 1991
- *Powell, James. Anatomy of a Crusade, 1213-1221, Philadelphia, 1986. UHM D165 .P68 1986
- *Prawer, Joshua. The Crusaders' Kingdom: European colonialism in the Middle Ages, New York & Washington, 1972. UHM D182 .P68
- (Leicester, 1978). [New edition, with Thomas Madden, due in 1997.] UHM D164 .Q38
- *Siberry, Elizabeth. Criticism of Crusading, 1095-1274, Oxford,1985. UHM D160 .S49 1985
- *Tyerman, Christopher. The Invention of the Crusades, Toronto, 1998. UHM D 157 T93 1988
- *Ben-Ami, J. Social Change in a Hostile Environment: The Crusaders' Kingdom of Jerusalem (1969). UHM D182 .B4
Islam and the East
- *Gervers, Michael, ed. The Second Crusade and the Cistercians, New York, 1992. UHM BR1070 .C65 1990
- *Constable, Giles. Monks, Hermits and Crusaders in Medieval Europe, Aldershot [Variorum], 1988. UHM BX2470 .C62 1988
- *Housley, Norman. The Avignon Papacy and the Crusades, 1305-1378, Oxford, 1986. UHM D172 .H68 1986
- *Maier, Christopher. Preaching the Crusades : mendicant friars and the Cross in the thirteenth century. Cambridge, 1994. UHM BX2820 .M33 1994
- *Russell, F. H. The Just War in the Middle Ages. Cambridge, 1975. BT736.2 .R85
- *Chambers, James. The Devil's Horsemen: The Mongol Invasion of Europe. London : Cassell, 1988 UHM DS19 .C45 1988
- *Humphreys, R.S. From Saladin to the Mongols : the Ayyubids of Damascus, 1193-1260. Albany, 1977. UHM DS97.3 .H85
- *Irwin, R., The Middle East in the Middle Ages: The early Mamluk Sultanate 1250-1382. London and Sydney, 1986. DS38.7 .I79 1986
- *Lyons, M.C. and D. E. P. Jackson, Saladin: The Politics of Holy War (Cambridge, 1982). DS38.4.S2 L93 1982
- *Thorau, P. The Lion of Egypt: Sultan Baybars I and the Near East in the Thirteenth Century, tr. P. M. Holt. London and New York, 1987. DT96.4 .T4613 1992
- *Powell, James, ed. Muslims under Latin Rule, 1100-1300, Princeton, NJ, 1991. UHM DS36.96 .M87 1990
Military Orders and Military History
- *Burns, Robert Ignatius. Muslims, Christians, and Jews in the crusader kingdom of Valencia : societies in symbiosis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984. UHM DP302.V205 B85 1984
- * Christiansen, Eric. The Northern Crusades: the Baltic and the Catholic frontier, 1100-1525, London, 1980. D173 .C47 OR Christiansen, Eric. The Northern Crusades. Penguin, 1997. UHM D 173 .C47 1997
- *Urban, William. The Baltic Crusade, Dekalb, 1975, repr. Chicago, 1994. UHM DK511.L36 U7
- *Urban, William. The Prussian Crusade, Lanham, 1980. UHM DK4600.P7765 U72
- *Barber, Malcolm. The new knighthood : a history of the Order of the Temple. Cambridge University Press, 1994. UHM CR4743 .B27 1994
- *Forey, Alan. The Military Orders: from the twelfth to the early fourteenth centuries, London, 1992. UHM CR4701 .F67 1992
- *France, John. Victory in the East: a military history of the First Crusade, Cambridge, 1994. D161.2 .F73 1994 OR France, John. Western warfare in the age of the Crusades, 1000-1300. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1999. UHM D160.F73 1999
- *Marshall, Christopher. Warfare in the Latin East, 1192-1291, Cambridge, 1994. UHM D183 .M37 1992
- *Nicholson, Helen. Templars, Hospitallers, and Teutonic Knights : images of the military orders, 1128-1291. Leicester and St. Martin's , 1993. UHM CR4701 .N53 1993
- *Smail, R. C. Crusading Warfare, Cambridge, 1956 (repr. in paperback,1994). UHM D160 .S55 1956
Architecture, Art, Literature:
- *Abulafia, David. Commerce and Conquest in the Mediterranean, 1100-1500, Aldershot [Variorum], 1993. UHM HF3750.7 .A53 1993
- *Brand, Charles M. Byzantium Confronts the West 1180-1204. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1968. UHM DF601 .B7
- *Chazan, Robert. European Jewry and the First Crusade. Berkeley: University of California Press, c1987. UHM DS135.G31 C45 1987
- *Goss, Valdimir P. and Christine Verza'r Bornstein, eds. The Meeting of Two Worlds: Cultural Exchange between East and West during the Period of the Crusades, Kalamazoo, MI, 1986. UHM CB351 .S83 v.21
- *Kedar, Benjamin. Crusade and Mission: European Approaches toward the Muslims, Princeton, NJ, 1984. UHM BV2625 .K43 1984
- *Lilie, R.-J. Byzantium and the Crusader States, tr. J. C. Morris and J. E. Ridings. Oxford, 1994. UHM DF547.L37 L5413 1994
- *Maalouf, Amin. The Crusades through Arab Eyes, trans. Jon Rothschild, London, 1984. D160 .M2713 1984
- * Prawer, Joshua. The History of the Jews in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, Oxford, 1988. UHM DS124 .P7 1988
- *Queller, Donald. The Fourth Crusade: the conquest of Constantinople 1201-1204, Philadelphia, 1977 (Leicester, 1978). [New edition, with Thomas Madden, due in 1997.] UHM D164 .Q38
- Toland, John Victor, ed. Medieval Perceptions of Islam: A Book of Essays, New York, 1996. no UH. own.
- *Boase, T. S. R. Castles and Churches of the Crusading Kingdom, Oxford, 1967. UHM NA1460 .B6 1967
- *Daniel, Norman. Heroes and Saracens: an interpretation of the chansons de geste. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, c1984. UHM PQ201 .D3 1984
- *Folda, Jaroslav. The Art of the Crusaders in the Holy Land: 1098-1187, Cambridge, 1995. UHM N6300 .F65 1995
- *Hazard H. W., ed. The Art and Architecture of the Crusader States, vol. 4 of K. M. Setton, A History of the Crusades. Madison, Wis, 1977. D157 .S482
- *Kennedy, Hugh. Crusader Castles, Cambridge, 1994. UHM NA1465 .K44 1994
- *Trotter, D. A. Medieval French literature and the crusades (1100-1300). Gen`eve: Librairie Droz, 1988. UHM PQ155.C86 T76 1988
Book Review Guidelines
The idea of a book review is not to repeat what the book says or describe it--that is a "book report." Rather, a review analyzes the book and critiques it. Examine the thesis and arguments, use of evidence, contribution to the field, readability for its intended audience, and general usefulness. Read some sample reviews to get an idea of how this is done. Look in a scholarly journal or online:
- American Historical Review: available through JSTOR from a UH IP address; print versions in Hamilton library
- Speculum, journal of medieval studies: available through JSTOR from a UH IP address; print versions in Hamilton library
- The Medieval Review
Read with a purpose. Here is a secret: you don't have to read every word slowly and carefully. Preview the book by reading the Preface, Introduction and Conclusion, skimming the chapters (intros and conclusions, maps, pictures, charts, etc). Read a chapter at a time, focusing on arguments, not data. You might just read the introduction and conclusion first, to get the main idea, then locate the subarguments in the chapter. Do not take copious notes (and don't mark in library books!!!). Rather, read to the end of the chapter, keeping your main questions in mind, and then write a brief summary or set of notes after you have finished a chapter.
These are the questions you can ask as you read and address in your review:
- What is the purpose and thesis of the book? Look at the Preface or Introduction to find out what the author set out to do and why.
- What are the themes of the book? Look at the Table of Contents as well as the Introductory material to find out what key ideas and issues the author addresses.
- What is the author's point of view? Is there an unstated bias, or does the author clearly define the point of view or approach the book will take? Examine the thesis and arguments, as well as the handling of evidence, to see what that approach is.
- What sources does the author use and how effectively does the book use evidence to support arguments? Look particularly for primary source evidence.
- Who is the audience and how well does the author write in a style and with an organization that speaks to that audience?
- What structure, organization, and supporting aids does the book have that make it effective? Look at notes, bibliography, maps, charts, diagrams, etc.
- For the purposes of this class, how does the book contribute to our understanding of the Crusades? How does it fit in with other things we have read?
Obviously, these questions are interconnected, but you can still use them to organize your paper into clear paragraphs and sections. However, you should follow the usual rules for paper writing and have a good introduction and conclusion tying all of your thoughts together. In particular, you should relate what you thought about the book to what you learned in class.
firstname.lastname@example.org revised 5/10/99
- Don't describe the book's contents, unless the description is subsumed under one of the questions above. For example, a listing of the chapters might serve as evidence of a good organization.
- Don't adopt the author's voice as your own. The review should be in your voice, analyzing the author. For example, do not write "The four main motives for the Crusades were...". Do write: "The author argues that the four main motives for the Crusades were..." (then tell me what you think of the argument).
- Don't quote excessively from the book. Use quotes only when you want to give the exact flavor of the author's work or when you want to comment on style.
- Don't criticize the author for what s/he didn't intend to do. No book can cover everything. Judge the book by its stated aims, and how well it fulfills them.
- Don't reject a book on style or audience just because you don't fit the profile of the target audience. Recognize that scholars write books for different needs and audiences and evaluate it accordingly.