God’s Battalions takes the view that the Crusaders were completely justified after being pushed so hard by the terrible Muslims who were invading their territory. The chapters where the author stuck to facts and what happened on the various Crusades were very good. The chapters attempting to prove his thesis were not. He’d “prove” his point by grabbing onto one single thing that didn’t necessarily prove what he was trying to prove (for example, the Muslims were “backward” because they did not like to use wheeled things like carts as the Europeans did, but instead stuck to the camels they were already familiar with – making it clear that camels were far inferior to carts). Often he stated that most historians say one thing, but this one single historian says this other thing and so obviously the one is correct (because what they said agrees with his thesis) and all the rest are wrong. There are many logical fallacies throughout the book. I actually had my 16-year-old son read this book as a critical thinking exercise, finding the problems with it. For that, it is an excellent resource. Otherwise, I wouldn’t recommend it.
2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2017: 166
Pages Read in 2017: 44,742
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Cameron for This School Year
One response to “God’s Battalions by Rodney Stark”
Pingback: 2017 Annual Wrap-Up | Mama Reader