Books in Brief: Crusaders (Dan Jones) and The History of the SAS (Chris Ryan)

Crusaders

Crusaders
An Epic History For The Wars For The Holy Lands

By Dan Jones

Published by Head of Zeus, Dist. by Harper Collins in Australia
RRP $45.00 in hardback | ISBN 9781781858882

Dan Jones, best-selling chronicler of the Middle Ages, turns his attention to the history of the Crusades – the sequence of religious wars fought between the late eleventh century and late medieval periods, in which armies from European Christian states attempted to wrest the Holy Land from Islamic rule, and which have left an enduring imprint on relations between the Muslim world and the West.

From the preaching of the First Crusade by Pope Urban II in 1095 to the loss of the last crusader outpost in the Levant in 1302-03, and from the taking of Jerusalem from the Fatimids in 1099 to the fall of Acre to the Mamluks in 1291, Crusaders tells a tale soaked in Islamic, Christian and Jewish blood, peopled by extraordinary characters, and characterised by both low ambition and high principle.

Dan Jones is a master of popular narrative history, with the priceless ability to write page-turning narrative history underpinned by authoritative scholarship. Never before has the era of the Crusades been depicted in such bright and striking colours, or their story told with such gusto. 

HistoryofSAS

The History of the SAS

By Chris Ryan

Published by Coronet; Distributed in Australia by Hachette
RRP $32.99 in paperback | ISBN 9781529324655

The history of the modern SAS is one of the great successes of post-war Britain. Since it was revived in 1950 to combat Communist insurgents, the Regiment has gone from strength to strength, fighting covert wars in Oman, Borneo, Northern Ireland, the Falklands, the Persian Gulf and beyond. In the process, it has become one of the most indispensable, and at times controversial, units in the British army

Today, the SAS is regarded as the world’s leading Special Forces unit, renowned for its demanding Selection course and its relentless ability to adapt to the changing nature of warfare. More than anything else, however, it is the determination and ingenuity of the SAS soldiers that has made the Regiment what it is today.

Drawing on his extensive network of contacts and his own experiences, Chris Ryan tells the story of the men on the ground. From the earliest patrols in the Malayan jungle, through to the storming of the Iranian Embassy, the daring raids behind enemy lines in the Gulf War, and up-to-minute missions to capture or kill notorious terrorists – this is the gripping, no-holds-barred account of Regiment operations.

Above all, it is a story of elite soldiers fighting, and triumphing, against seemingly impossible odds.

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