Actually, Stark is just telling the story of the Crusades - and what a fascinating story it is. He is not justifying them, but explaining them, and exploding some of the myths behind them.
Stark's points include:
- The Crusades did not occur in a vacuum, but were a response to centuries of Muslim conquest and violence.
- The Crusades were not driven by greed, but were recognized from the very beginning to be an excessively expensive exercise.
- The crusaders were not more violent or barbaric than the Muslims.
- The Muslim world has not held a 900-year grudge concerning the Crusades - Muslim antagonism about the Crusades did not appear until about 1900.
This is an eminently readable, gripping introduction to a fascinating period of history - and one which has enormous relevance for the present day.