This written in 2011-08-14, which I consider to be quite a while ago.
While languishing under cold symptoms today I finished listening to The Modern Scholar: God Wills It!: Understanding the Crusades (Thomas F. Madden).
I only remembered a few things about the crusades from school. One is apparently false: the “children’s crusades” probably weren’t made up of young children. Another - that the “fourth” crusade sacked Constantinople - always seemed an amusing factoid, and it’s nice to have a better understanding of what led up to it (my prior misconception being that those crusaders were just greedy lowlifes).
I found the lectures engaging and very enlightening. They also further increased my desire learn more about the Islamic world during (and before, and after…) this time.