Saladin: The Life, the Legend and the Islamic Empire with John Man

Saladin remains one of the most iconic figures of his age. Revered as the man who united the Arabs and defeated the Christian crusaders, he is the Islamic world’s pre-eminent hero


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Ruthless in defence of his faith, brilliant in leadership, he also possessed qualities that won admiration from his Christian foes. He knew the limits of violence, showing such tolerance and generosity that many Europeans, appalled at the brutality of their own people, saw him as the exemplar of their own knightly ideals.

But Saladin is far more than a historical hero. Builder, literary patron and theologian, he is a man for all times, and a symbol of hope for an Arab world once again divided...

In his authoritative biography, historian John Man brings Saladin and his world to life in vivid detail. Charting his rise to power, his struggle to unify the warring factions of his faith, and his battles to retake Jerusalem and expel Christian influence from Arab lands, Saladin explores the life and the enduring legacy of this champion of Islam, and examines his significance for the world today.


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John Man

John is an author specializing in Central Asia (in particular Mongolia), north China and Japan, with occasional forays into TV and radio.

He has published half a dozen books on Central Asia, and his hugely successful Genghis Khan: Life, Death and Resurrection_ is a best-seller in 21 languages. Other publications include Attila the Hun, Kublai Khan, The Terracotta Army, The Great Wall, and Xanadu (on Marco Polo). And most recently two books on Japan: Samurai: The Last Warrior and Ninja: 1,000 Years of the Shadow Warrior (2012). His The Mongol Empire, was published in June 2014 and Xanadu has just been made into a 10-part Netflix TV series.

He lectures frequently. He has contributed to BBC and History Channel documentaries on Genghis Khan and Attila. He advised director Sergei Bodrov on the Oscar-nominated feature film Mongol.




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Simon Sebag Montefiore : "One could not wish for a better storyteller or analyst than John Man."

Michael Palin : "His ability to put us in the picture, to feel, smell and almost touch the surroundings he describes, is matched by his ability to tell a good story."

2015Martin Keeley