PositiveThe Times (UK)\"...a fascinating and winding but highly readable tale ... Reporting on campaigns such as these, Ghattas ends optimistically. But it is notable that many of the people she praises for their resistance are doing so in exile (Naji now lives in the US). While she is right to point out that this is a complex story, and that extremism ebbs and flows, the black wave taints everything it touches, long after it recedes.\
PositiveThe Times (UK)Amid the juicy anecdotes, the great strength of this book is the way in which it illuminates the human networks that underpinned the Crusades ... Jerusalem fell to Saladin in 1187. Disappointingly, Jones does not explore the divisions among the crusaders that were to blame ... The Albigensian Crusade, as the war against the Cathars was known, provides an excellent illustration of how different motives combined ... This is rollercoaster history; had I not been taking notes I would struggle to recall each twist and turn of the ride. A storyteller rather than an analyst, with a nose for the dramatic, disgusting and bizarre, Jones might not be the right man to get a call from MI5. But every page of his extraordinary book provides vivid evidence of the Crusades’ continuing ability to mesmerise, including those with murderous intent.
PositiveThe TimesTyerman is a judicious and scholarly guide and readers will feel that they are drinking the distillation of a lifetime’s work on its subject. However, the book as a whole has a slightly awkward feel, interspersing a text that is sometimes rather dense, with short, enjoyable essays in the style of A History of the World in 100 Objects. It is not always easy reading, but it rewards persistence.