In 1095 Pope Urban II launched the First Crusade to recover Jerusalem from the Seljuq Turks. Tens of thousands of people joined his cause, making it the single largest event of the Middle Ages. The conflict would rage for over 200 years, transforming Christian and Islamic relations forever. Andrew Jotischky takes readers through the key events, focussing on the experience of crusading, from both sides. Featuring textboxes with fascinating details on the key sites, figures and battles, this essential primer asks all the crucial questions: What were the motivations of the crusaders? What was it like to be a crusader or to live in a crusading society? And how do these events, nearly a thousand years ago, still shape the politics of today?