I purchased this book at a bookstore, and after reading part of it, I decided to check Amazon for more books by the same author; so far, I find this book very good. Unlike the previous reviewer, my religious sensibilities do not interfere with the objective evaluation of the information presented in this book. I was impressed by the author's candor regarding the effect of the Crusades on the Middle East and the rest of the world. The author argues that the Crusades and later "imperialist conquests" marked the "defining moment in the historical development of the relationship between Europe and the rest of the world". He points out that "The invasions of much of Europe by the Romans, of England by the Vikings and then the Normans all ended with assimilation. Indeed, the great success of the Roman Empire can be attributed to the manner in which the Romans consciously sought to merge their own culture with cultures of those they had conquered. The Crusades were to be different. They were firmly based, as were the later imperialist conquests, upon ideas of segregation and the imposition of one belief system".
I recommend this book highly for those that are truly interested in history and in learning with an ability to assimilate various points of view. Just as the Crusades were fought in the name of Christianity so were wars fought in the name of Islam. This book is definitely worth the read as it represents more than just one point of view.