Adam Copeland's Reviews > Barbarians, Marauders, and Infidels

Barbarians, Marauders, and Infidels by Antonio Santosuosso
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Sep 16, 10

Read from September 04 to 15, 2010

The subtitle to this work should be: "A Brief History of Warfare Between the Fall of Rome and the Renaissance," or perhaps more whimsically (but accurately), "People Killing Each Other in Medieval Times."

Coming in just under 300 pages, Antonio Santosuosso's work is meant to touch briefly on the significant engagements in the subject era that defined the nature of warfare and its future development in Europe and the Near East. Though it comments on the political, religious, and socio-economic factors that motivated men to bludgeon, hack, stab, squash, and blow each other up in large numbers, Santosuosso manages to fall just short of being a dry academic read by going into engaging detail of specific battles like a play-by-play sports announcer. It is history-lite, which I imagine is what the author had in mind. It is a primer meant to get you interested just enough in the subject matter to either spend hours pouring over Wikipedia articles or buy Santosuosso's next book in the series.

If you're only a fan of warfare, you won't be able to help but become more knowledgeable of history in general. You'll pick up interesting trivia like: King Richard I of England, the "Lionhearted," rarely set foot in England and didn't speak the language at all; Saladin, the Muslim conqueror was born in Tikrit...the same place as Saddam Hussien; Joan of Arc was an uneducated 17 year old girl, but routed the English at almost every military engagement; Once upon a time the Pope had his own army; and Normandy, France was named after the Norse Vikings who settled there.
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