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The First Crusade, By Peter Frankopan


The sub-title "the call from the east" does not refer to Jerusalem but Constantinople.

This persuasive reassessment reveals the First Crusade was triggered by an appeal to Pope Urban II from Byzantine Emperor Alexios I in 1095.

Jerusalem was offered as the prize but this master-tactician really needed foreign assistance to bolster crumbling outposts in Asia Minor.

Rich in detail both gruesome and peculiar (the relics that are dispatched by Alexios include bread chewed by the infant Christ), this book explains why 80,000 crusaders were drawn to the real first world war.