Books: The Holy Wars

A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES, VOL. Ill: THE KINGDOM OF ACRE (530 pp.)—Steven Runciman—Cambridge University Press ($6.50).

The devotion of the medieval Crusaders who marched in great waves toward the unknown East to wrest the sepulchre of Christ from infidel defilement stands in history as an everlastingly marvelous drama. Modern readers (and historians) don't quite know what to make of the Crusades. At best, they speak of a "miracle of faith," at worst of "blind fanaticism" mixed with greed. The word crusade is becoming fashionable again, but few 20th century men can imagine a...

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