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WINNER OF THE SLIGHTLY FOXED BEST FIRST BIOGRAPHY PRIZE
When Saladin recaptured Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187, returning the Holy City to Islamic rule, he sent shockwaves throughout Christian Europe and the Muslim Near East that reverberate today.
It was the culmination of a supremely exciting life. Born into a significant Kurdish family in northern Iraq, this warrior and diplomat fought under the banner of jihad, but at the same time worked tirelessly to build an empire that stretched from North Africa to Western Iraq. Gathering together a turbulent coalition, he was able to capture Jerusalem, only to trigger the Third Crusade and face his greatest adversary, King Richard the Lionheart.
Drawing on a rich blend of Arabic and European sources, this is a comprehensive account of both the man and the legend to which he gave birth, describing vividly the relentless action of his life and tracing its aftermath through culture and politics all the way to the present day.