Amin Maalouf, The Crusades Through Arab Eyes (London: Al Saqi Books, 1984).
Maalouf’s reconstruction of the Crusades (“Frankish invasions”) as seen by Arab historians and chroniclers is a fascinating and instructive narrative of that bitter conflict. He concludes his account with a reflective epilogue on the lasting impact of the Crusades on Arab culture and identity. Maalouf’s depiction is fluent and vivid, sensitive to the temper of the combatants and to the ironic details of the private lives behind the public facade. Unfortunately, his narration is rarely tainted by social and economic facts.