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In May 2005 Penguin will publish 70 unique titles to celebrate the company's 70th birthday. The titles in the Pocket Penguins series are emblematic of the renowned breadth of quality of the Penguin list and will hark back to Penguin founder Allen Lane's vision of 'good books for all'. One of the greatest historical writers of the twentieth century, Steven Runciman was famous for throwing light on some very dark ages: his definitive A History of the Crusades, first published by Penguin in 1965, transformed the common view of the Holy Wars through its impartial and penetrating approach. Here, he describes the brutal and decisive tenth-century victory of the crusaders over Arab forces in Jerusalem, occupied for over four hundred years.
The city was full of refugees and had few defenders, and it fell to the besieging armies. Balian bargained with Saladin to buy safe passage for many, and the city came into Saladin's ...
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The siege of that city is retold before the final assault on the great stone walls. The violence of the battle is as nothing compared to the bloodlust that ensues following the Moslem surrender.
Jerusalem is taken by the Khwarezmian Tartars, a Persia-based dynasty.