Saladin: The Sultan Who Vanquished the Crusaders and Built an Islamic Empire

Hardcover | April 5, 2016

byJohn Man

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Saladin remains one of the most iconic figures of his age. As the man who united the Arabs and saved Islam from Christian crusaders in the twelfth century, he is the Islamic world's preeminent hero. A ruthless defender of his faith and brilliant leader, he also possessed qualities that won admiration from his Christian foes.

But Saladin is far more than a historical hero. Builder, literary patron, and theologian, he is a man for all times, and a symbol of hope for an Arab world once again divided. Centuries after his death, in cities from Damascus to Cairo and beyond, to the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf, Saladin continues to be an immensely potent symbol of religious and military resistance to the West. He is central to Arab memories, sensibilities, and the ideal of a unified Islamic state.

John Man charts Saladin's rise to power, his struggle to unify the warring factions of his faith, and his battles to retake Jerusalem and expel Christian influence from Arab lands. Saladin explores the life and enduring legacy of this champion of Islam while examining his significance for the world today.

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From the Publisher

Saladin remains one of the most iconic figures of his age. As the man who united the Arabs and saved Islam from Christian crusaders in the twelfth century, he is the Islamic world's preeminent hero. A ruthless defender of his faith and brilliant leader, he also possessed qualities that won admiration from his Christian foes.But Saladin...

John Man is a historian and travel writer with a special interest in Asia. His many acclaimed books include bestselling biographies of Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun, as well as The Great Wall and The Terracotta Army. He lives in the United Kingdom.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:312 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:April 5, 2016Publisher:Da Capo BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0306824876

ISBN - 13:9780306824876

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Customer Reviews of Saladin: The Sultan Who Vanquished the Crusaders and Built an Islamic Empire

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Praise for SaladinLibrary Journal, 4/1/16“Well written and immensely entertainingThis book will appeal to anyone interested in the Crusades or medieval history. An excellent addition to a public or academic library.”Manhattan Book Review, 4/19/16“The historical side characters of this great narrative are accurately and faithfully identified in the bookMan’s is primarily known for his masterful biographies of Genghis Khan. Yet, here is simply excels himself. Those interested in the mysterious qualities of the man’s dual acts of kindness and brutalities will not leave this book wanting.”Foreword Reviews, Summer 2016“With the character depth and literary finesse of a novelist, bestselling historian John Man portrays the life of renowned twelfth-century sultan SaladinSaladin is much more than a character study, howeverThe battle chapters are rivetingParallels are astutely drawn to present-day sectarian strife and civil warThe power struggles Saladin faced, the betrayals and reversals, read like modern political dramasA worthy biography of an important Muslim hero.”Roanoke Times, 5/15/16“Even if you come to this book with no knowledge of the Crusades or what the Middle East was like during the period, Man makes it easy for you to jump in[He] does a very good job of describing the characters in this story, and he frames his narrative not as a history textbook, but as a tale about the life of a man and the passions that drove him. In reading the book, you get a good sense of the kind of person Saladin was, about his inherent nobility and drive to unite Islam under a single banner, both to defend the Holy Land from the Christians and to bring an end to the divisiveness and strife that continue to cause problems in that part of the worldA book that does a great job of introducing a reader to a complex subject.”Military Heritage, July 2016“An interesting account of Saladin’s life in detail sufficient to give the reader a sense of the man without bogging the narrative down with too much informationThe effects of the Crusades and Saladin’s successful struggles against them echo through time to the present, giving this work relevance and scope.”Portland Book Review, 5/27/16“Traces the rise of the Sultan from his little-documented childhood in the modern Middle East, through his first major command in Egypt, and finally, to his best-known role as the man who kicked the Christians out of JerusalemJohn Man shows a journalist’s gift for context.”InfoDad blog, 6/2/16“Occasionally—not often, but occasionally—a war-focused book not only explains events of the past but also proves to have potentially significant relevance to events of our own time. So it is with John Man’s well-written, well-researched Saladin.”Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row, 6/12/16“[A] superb and eminently readable biographyLucid and to the point.”Counterpunch, 7/29/16”Blends military and general history, biography and myth to compile a fascinating narrative of Saladin’s life and times. Neither hagiography nor its opposite, this text at its best provides some insight into the thinking of those who consider themselves the builders of a new Caliphate and at the minimum is a concise and intelligent biography of one of history’s most influential men.”Donovan’s Bookshelf, August 2016“Any who would understand the foundations of the modern Middle East needs to read this book.”Milwaukee Shepherd Express, 10/11/16“Man defines Saladin in terms easily understood: He was a master of soft as well as hard power; he was resilient, a problem solver whose self-esteem didn’t get in the way of forming close personal relationsLittle wonder his name is still spoken today.”