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The Race for Paradise: An Islamic History of the Crusades

10 May, 2015 12:33
The Race for Paradise: An Islamic History of the Crusades
"As Paul Cobb demonstrates in his splendidly detailed and timely narrative, lslamic authors and writers in Arabic showed a keen interest in the medieval Christian interlopers into the Muslim world, in political events and in the ideology of jihad that these conflicts revived. Cobb provides a useful corrective to ill-informed assumptions about medieval Islam and later Muslim recollections of the Crusades. ... Paul Cobb's case is elegantly and well made, a trenchant and welcome contribution to a discussion that is more than academic." --The Times Literary Supplement

"Cobb brings this history alive in a way that will interest both casual readers and experts alike... [The] multidisciplinary approach illuminates the experience of invaded societies in their chaotic and climactic contacts with the Other." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) 


"This is an excellent book--lucid, insightful and informative. Cobb brings a fresh perspective to contact between Muslims and Christians during the medieval period, energetically transporting us across Islamic lands from Cordova to Baghdad, via Palermo, Cairo, Jerusalem and Damascus. Sharply-chosen anecdotes cleverly illuminate life beyond the confines of holy war to give a broad and rewarding understanding of the true context and multi-faceted nature of this complex and highly important relationship." --Jonathan Phillips, author of Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades

"Thoroughly researched, highly original and above all a pleasure to read--a superb overview for the general and the specialized reader alike that sets the Crusades within the larger framework of Islamic history." --Konrad Hirschler, SOAS, University of London; author of The Written Word in the Medieval Arabic Lands

"Paul Cobb's The Race for Paradise proves why medieval European history is not the only domain for Crusades study. With a fluid style and superb knowledge of sources, Cobb masterfully enshrines the Islamic narratives, reflecting several genres of scholarship, as fundamentally informative for Crusader history, and that the latter ought to be seen also as reflective of dynamics within the Islamic world. Indispensable for anyone interested in understanding the Crusades and the Muslim World at that time." --Suleiman A. Mourad, Smith College

"Lively and enjoyable reading, Paul Cobb's Race for Paradise also offers new insights into the well-worn territory of Crusades history, particularly by showing how the Crusades were part of a broader penetration of Latin Christian powers into the Mediterranean world in the second half of the eleventh century." --Hugh Kennedy, SOAS, University of London
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The Race for Paradise: An Islamic History of the Crusades
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