Saladin[PDF] ✅ Saladin Author John Man – Saladin remains one of the most iconic figures of his age As the man who united the Arabs and saved Islam from Christian crusaders in the 12th century he is the Islamic world’s preeminent hero Ruthl Saladin remains one of the most iconic figures of his age As the man who united the Arabs and saved Islam from Christian crusaders in the th century he is the Islamic world’s preeminent hero Ruthless in defence of his faith brilliant in leadership he also possessed ualities that won admiration from his Christian foes He knew the limits of violence showing such tolerance and generosity that many Europeans appalled at the brutality of their own people saw him as the exemplar of their own knightly idealsBut Saladin is far than a historical hero Builder literary patron and theologian he is a man for all times and a symbol of hope for an Arab world once again divided Centuries after his death in cities from Damascus to Cairo and beyond to the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf Saladin continues to be an immensely potent symbol of religious and military resistance to the West He is central to Arab memories sensibilities and the ideal of a unified Islamic stateIn this authoritative biography historian John Man brings Saladin and his world to life in vivid detail Charting his rise to power his struggle to unify the warring factions of his faith and his battles to retake Jerusalem and expel Christian influence from Arab lands Saladin explores the life and the enduring legacy of this champion of Islam and examines his significance for the world today. 35 stars actually this was a nice biography of Saladin and focuses mostly in his interaction during the Crusades while this is an aspect that I loved I wish the book would have focused a little bit in his way of government his life after the crusades While this book tries to explain some of his life before and after the crusades it leaves one wanting for which in a biography is not a good thing It is nonetheless very expected that any book about Saladin would focus on the Crusades as this was the action that defined him Good read but not a good biography This is a relatively short biography of a true hero of the Muslim culture Saladin As such it is a history that westerners are relatively or completely unfamiliar with The book covers roughly the period of Middle East history during the Second and Third Crusades in which Saladin rises from obscurity to unifier of a major portion of the then Muslim world Saladin is truly a historic personage worth learning about as he exemplifies ualities that we westerners would like to think are possessed by our historic heroes While the history is well written and engaging it is a bit thin in my thinking considering Saladin's accomplishments and the obstacles he faced within his own culture That he was able to do any of the things he did in the face of the Shia and Sunni animosity that still exists today and he Saladin being a mere Kurd on top of it is uite remarkable The brevity of the biography may be due the lack of resource material available for this man As the author admits there is virtually nothing known about Saladin's childhood and it is only because of his leadership positions that he is known at all And while he was revered in life he was soon forgotten after his death He is known today only because of a renewed interest in his life that began toward the end of the 19th century as a propaganda symbol of the Ottoman Emperor and those trying to win favor with the emperor However as Saladin's death is reported in this book there are still two chapters and nearly 40 pages of text remaining I expected to be treated to a description of the post Saladin scramble for power and the intrigues usually associated with a power vacuum Unfortunately that id not happen What you get is a chapter discussing leadership its definition and its attributes and whether they applied to Saladin The next chapter was the influence or lack of influence of Saladin in present day Middle East affairs Such discussions were certainly not expected Neither chapter was badly written or without merit but I uestion their value in a biography and maybe they should have been better placed in a scholarly paper rather than in this book Nevertheless not a bad book but I would have like substance meat The book did leave me wanting so maybe that's not a bad thing This is a fantastic book to those that are interested in the life of Saladin and the Second and Third Crusades Saladin is an iconic figure of his age and till this day is remembered as a historical hero John Man was able to bring Saladin to life as a reader we learn who Saladin is what his childhood was his personality traits his military abilities but also the politicalsocial situation of his time Overall I very much enjoyed this book and was introduced to a period that before I had a very limited knowledge about Good book I love how it tells the story from the Islamic point of view not the Western European one You get a whole new feeling for the Crusades The author John Man states on the first page that the Europeans are the bad guys in this story they murdered pillaged destroyed Saladin is the good guy He was wise virtuous and generous If you don't like that then don't read this book LOVE IT More authors should do that John Man is a great story teller He's not about a dry retelling of facts He makes it lively and interesting Several times he tells the reader two or three different versions of the same story that exist and lets them decideThe book tells the story of Salah al din Saladin the 12th century Islamic leader who rose to try to unify Islam and take all the holy lands back from the Europeans He mostly did this Man points out There was still the Frankish castle holding out at Acre and he unified Islamic peoples under his version of Sunni Islam Iranian Shiites probably are not uite so fond of Saladin Man concludes the book with an analysis of Saladin's leadership style as well as his standing in history until now Interestingly enough Saladin is probably widely praised in Western cultures than Islamic ones they really forgot about him for 500 years Recommended reading A breezy populist account of Saladin The author runs at pace making no attempt to hide his admiration for Saladin rightly so I think I am sure there is a plethora of far rigorous tomes available But for a curious dilettante like myself this was perfect Someone in one of my book groups selected this out of an interest in Saladin and the Crusades not because of the merits of this particular book I didn't care for it as I was looking for something scholarly If I have time I'll try to read some of Thomas Asbridge or James Reston Jr Superb a comprehensive account and compelling analysis Fast paced except for the last two chapters biography about an Islamic icon Of course with event that happened almost a millennium ago how much of it is accurate?And we know that history is written by the victors Before I began reading this book I made a stereotyped prejudiced assumption of what it would be like based on the author and his background I judged a book by its cover and unfortunately I was rightI certainly enjoyed the act of reading this book but that doesn't make it a good balanced piece of historical literature John Man is undoubtedly talented in constructing a gripping fast paced narrative story but I can't really find anything to praise This is clearly written for the high street reader who won't pause to uestion it and its many flawsThe author seems to suffer from a peculiar inability to restrain his sarcasm and wit which is a fun trait to have generally but it doesn't do you any favours when writing a book that is supposed to be well researched reasonable and well consideredThere is a constant air of superiority felt from the author who projecting his modern and subjective value system into the past neglects a basic understanding of vital context Seriously I'm not joking when I say you could read this entire book and not even realise that Salahuddin was a deeply religious man for example It's a typical secular reading of history cynical in its conclusions with an almost neo orientalist feel to itMan tries to analyse Salahuddin as a personality but fails to realise that in an analysis you are supposed to first review evidence and then derive a conclusion rather than the other way around not conjure up a dramatic imagined story and then retrospectively try to bolt on evidence to it Evidence which unfortunately is almost not referenced in this work at allIf this discreet kind of agenda setting isn't enough really you kinda begin to wonder what's your point? then the final two chapters will finish the half done job of utterly confusing the reader John Man decides that he's now a self help author and goes about deconstructing Salahuddin so we can learn leadership lessons from him A doomed exercise considering Man never seemed to have understood the great man in the first place ''It was over Distraught 'as a mother who has just lost her child' he had no choice but to accept the deal How could this reverse have come about? True his forces were spread too thinly fending off rivals to the east and north But the main reason was that the caliph had sent no help to Saladin's distress'Jihad is the personal duty of all muslims' he wrote 'Yet your servant is left to the bear that oppressive burden all alone'In an echo of the Muslim world today the world Salah El Din grew up in was shattered by sectarian struggles internal strife and perhaps as a result foreign invasion which fostered a strong desire within him to unite muslims under one banner against what was perceived as the real enemy the Crusaders Uniting muslims to no one's surprise was no easy feat as each city reuired particular political manoeuvring Troubles ended not with an military invasion but with securing a foothold in the political landscape and rallying public opinion to Salah El Din's cause all the while evading attempts to both overthrow his rule and to end his lifePerhaps most disheartening to me in this story was after the monumental effort launched by Salah El Din to retrieve Jerusalem and all the sacrifices that were made in service of his cause there persisted so much animosity and distrust between muslim leaders that when the time came to defend Jerusalem and keep it in muslim hands no reinforcements from supposed allies arrived to aid him in his uest and Salah El Din and his army were left to fend for themselves ''Where now are his ideals of Arab and Islamic unity of freedom from outside interference of a peaceful life under Islam? Never realized by him and today tattered than ever torn by the elements Saladin despised sectarianism civil war exploitation foreign intervention''This is a short read and is meant to offer only a uick view of the challenges and tribulation that faced Salah El Din Nevertheless it was a pleasure to read a short account of the life of such a magnificent and benevolent figure

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  • Hardcover
  • 320 pages
  • Saladin
  • John Man
  • 24 June 2016
  • 9780593073728