In this highly original and enjoyable book, Christopher Tyerman focuses on the massive, all-encompassing and hugely costly business of actually preparing a crusade. The efforts of many thousands of men and women, who left their lands and families in Western Europe, and marched off to a highly uncertain future in the Holy Land and elsewhere have never been sufficiently understood. How to Plan a Crusade is fascinating on diplomacy, communications, propaganda, the use of mass media, medical care, equipment, voyages, money, weapons, credit, wills, ransoms, animals, and the power of prayer. It brings to life an extraordinary era in a novel and surprising way.
An impressive synthesis of a complicated subject, presented in elegant, readable prose. -- Jonathan Sumption The Spectator His deeply researched study is dedicated to exploring the relationship between human reason and religious war in all its aspects -- Diarmaid MacCulloch London Review of Books Comprehensive, laying down a great skein of fact where there was only supposition (much of it false). And, as the West gears up for the crusade of 2015-16 against Islamic State, it is horribly timely. -- Giles Whittell The Times Wonderfully written and characteristically brilliant account of the logistics (and motivations) that underpinned the Crusades -- Peter Frankopan Tyerman's book is fascinating not just for what it has to tell us about the Crusades, but for the mirror it holds up to today's religious extremism -- Tom Holland Mail on Sunday How to Plan a Crusade is serious and scholarly, the synthesis of decades of work on difficult, fragmented sources. Administrative records weren't routinely kept until around 1300, which makes Tyerman's task harder and more impressive...this is also a lively book, laced with wry asides and enough surprising details to pique the general reader. -- Jessie Childs The Guardian There is a deeper story here about the rise in Britain of both class structure and bureaucracy... -- Sinclair McKay Telegraph
Christopher Tyerman is a Fellow and Tutor in History at Hertford College, Oxford and Lecturer in Medieval History at New College, Oxford. He has written extensively on the crusades, most recently God's War: A New History of the Crusades and The Debate on the Crusades. He is also the editor of the Penguin Classics edition of the Chronicles of the First Crusade.