With flair and originality, Christopher Tyerman presents a clear and lively discussion of the Crusades, bringing together issues of colonialism, cultural exchange, economic exploitation, and the relationship between past and present. He considers the effects of the Crusades on ordinary life in Western Europe, and the parts played by ordinary men and women in the conflict, and explores the term 'Crusade' for contemporary political ends. Whether the Crusades are regarded as the most romantic of Christian expeditions, or the last of the barbarian invasions, they have fascinated generations ever since, and their legacy of ideas and imagery has resonated through the centuries, inspiring Hollywood movies and great works of literature. In this book, Tyerman skillfully weaves together one of the most extraordinary and vivid episodes in world history.Dr. Christopher Tyerman is lecturer in Medieval History at Hertford College and New College, Oxford. He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and editor of 'Oxford Historian'. He has published extensively on crusading history.