Sunday, May 31, 2009

Joan Acocella on the Crusades

Joan Acocella, in her usual incisive and entertaining manner, reviewed two books on the Crusades in the December 13, 2004 issue of The New Yorker. She liked both, but she had one reservation:

[Thomas] Asbridge praises the "inspired and audacious" tactics of the leaders of the First Crusade, their "military genius"; [Jonathan] Phillips roots for the men of the Fourth Crusade as, with their boats swaying beneath them and with scores of Greek bowmen firing at them, they climb their ladders and jump out onto the walls of Constantinople. Later, the authors bemoan the slaughter, but what did they think the audacious tactics were for? There is a curious amorality here. It may be endemic to military history. (What an exciting battle! Oops, what a lot of dead people!)

Stumble Upon Toolbar

No comments: