The Life and Legend of the Sultan Saladin
by Jonathan Phillips
Pub Date 20 Aug 2019
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In 1187, Saladin marched triumphantly into Jerusalem, ending decades of struggle against the Christians and reclaiming the holy city for Islam. Four years later he fought off the armies of the Third Crusade, which were commanded by Europe’s leading monarchs. A fierce warrior and savvy diplomat, Saladin’s unparalleled courtesy, justice, generosity, and mercy were revered by both his fellow Muslims and his Christian rivals such as Richard the Lionheart.
Combining thorough research with vivid storytelling, Jonathan Phillips offers a fresh and captivating look at the triumphs, failures, and contradictions of one of the Crusades’ most unique figures. Bringing the vibrant world of the twelfth century to life, this book also explores Saladin’s complicated legacy, examining the ways Saladin has been invoked in the modern age by Arab and Muslim leaders ranging from Nasser in Egypt, Asad in Syria, and Saddam Hussein in Iraq to Osama bin Laden, as well as his huge appeal across popular culture in books, drama, and music.
A Note From the Publisher
“Outstanding. Jonathan Phillips has written a compelling account of arguably the most inspirational of Islamic military heroes.”
—Christopher de Bellaigue, author of The Islamic Enlightenment
“An authoritative and brilliantly told account of the life of one of the world's greatest—and most famous—military leaders. Jonathan Phillips leaves no stone unturned in this impressive and lively history of the genius who was Saladin.”
—Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads: A New History of the World and The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World
“Vivid and authoritative, with glistening details on every page. Phillips explains Saladin’s ability to mesmerize not just through the achievements of his lifetime but through his inspiration of Arab leaders, including Nasser, Assad, and Saddam Hussein, ever since.”
—James Barr, author of Lords of the Desert: The Battle between the United States and Great Britain for Supremacy in the Middle East
“This breathtaking biography of the Ayyubid conqueror Saladin exceeds all others both in its erudition and in its brilliant analysis of Saladin’s modern representations in the political mobilization of Islam.”
—William Chester Jordan, author of The Apple of His Eye: Converts from Islam in the Reign of Louis IX