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SUNY Press, Jan 1, 1972 - Egypt - 290 pages

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I finished reading this great book on Saladin recently and have revisited the book after reading for my research on Ottoman history in 2002. Since I remembered the book, I knew that Andrew Ehrenkreutz had written a leading biography on the great Muslim leader that serves as a foremost biography. It is a truly massive piece of history and chronology that owes itself to the genius of Professor Andrew Ehrenkreutz who taught at the University of Michigan. The book is largely dedicated to the brave-hearted Muslim armies that were led by Saladin many centuries ago and is just as uniquely, not for the faint-hearted. It is book that is replete with historical events and passages, recorded timelines and descriptions that are often hard to keep in order. It owes itself to the intensive research and knowledge and insight of a great and learned historian whose scholarly efforts have resulted in a great historical work and transmission on the life of a forgotten Muslim ruler and conqueror. Formatted like a textbook for the average reader, Saladin is a formidable biography that recalls the life and times of a Kurdish boy-prince who worked his way up from the lowest ranks of the Muslim cavalry to the role of Sultan and ruled a massive empire that stretched from Anatolia to the Hejaz. It tells the exploits of Saladin and of his notable family who were great leaders and statesmen and most of all protectors of the faith who strove to liberate Egypt from Shiite rulers, defend Syria from Byzanitine machinations and ultimately ward off the Crusades three times over- to rule the holiest city of all-Jerusalem Saladin is depicted as a hero without equal who cannot err save for his small concessions that were often coerced by lack of solidarity and power and governance- albeit rising as a supreme ruler who was often infallible and regarded as a savior or a truly illuminated being above most ordinary men. What we glean from the book is a legacy of a supreme-leader- the likes of whom has not exited for centuries and we may never know for all of time since Saladin stands apart as Eherenkreutz so tactfully conveys-telling us that Saladin's time was indeed a different time-or a time that is unknown to many- or forgotten-that bred a leader who may not reflect our modern ideals but deserves greater recognition for virtues that are beyond any human comparison and demands a greater learning and discovery of a figure in Islamic history that is truly venerable and bespeaks a glorious period of Islamism and the Islamic expansion that is unmatched.  


The showdown with the Crusaders

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