My dear K-Lo, I am most heartily abashed. Notwithstanding that it appeared on our very own site, I had until just now missed the essay by Thomas Madden , which is–you speak the truth–just marvelous.
And I think so highly of Madden that I have his Concise History of the Crusades on my bookshelf as I type. The volume is brief, comprehensive, and beautifully written. And since no episode is more widely and baldly mischaracterized than the crusades, I recommend the book to every reader of this Corner.