Rodney Stark’s GOD’S BATTALIONS
I know a book is superb, when the data presented opens up my eyes to new perspectives that I had not encountered before in my education and reading. Rodney Stark makes a thoroughly referenced case for the rationale and motivation of the Crusades. In contrast to the message I encountered in school, Stark argues convincingly that:
“The Crusades were not unprovoked. They were not the first round of European colonialism. They were not conducted for land, loot, or converts.” (page 348).
Particularly troubling for me was Stark’s evidence that modern scholarship deliberately overlooks many atrocities directed at Christians and citizens in Christian centres such as Baibars’s treacherous massacres of Christian and Crusader populations even after surrender agreements had been pledged (inter alia see for example page 232).
I can only suggest you read this book and weigh the evidence for yourself. It is well worth the read and will serve to counter balance much of the one-sided information that is taught about this important era in history in school today.