The life of Us mah ibn-Munqidh epitomized the height of Arab civilization as it flourished in the period of the early Crusades. His memoirs present an uncommon n-European perspective and understanding of the military and cultural contact between East and West, Muslim and Christian. His writing is remarkable for its narrative clarity, its humanity, and its wealth of perceptive details.
Richard W. Bulliet is professor of history at Columbia University. A former Guggenheim fellow, he has authored books on technology, The Camel and the Wheel (Columbia); and on Middle East History, Islam: The View from the Edge (Columbia). He is also the author of four novels of mystery and intrigue.