Armies of Heaven: The First Crusade and the Quest for Apocalypse (Basic Books) by Jay Rubenstein

Winner of the 2012 Phi Beta Kappa Emerson Book Award

 [A] rich harvest of legends and writings from the period, often apocalyptic in nature, that give us a keener insight into the minds of those who lived these tumultuous years. Rubenstein offers up a heady mix of soldiers and prophets, militants and supplicants, weaving it all into a wonderfully readable account that puts flesh on the story. A satisfying and highly recommended read in every respect. —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Evocatively tells the story of this apocalyptic journey in a narrative bristling with sharp erudition and exhilarating prose. ..the most intelligent, thought-provoking, and enthralling history of the First Crusade written in the last fifty years. A marvelous achievement. — Mark Gregory Pegg, A Most Holy War: The Albigensian Crusade and the Battle for Christendom