"Jordan is a masterful speaker, and it would have been a pleasure to hear his three lectures, now published in this beautifully produced volume. In their written form, the three essays spring to life, informed as they are by Jordan's vivid vocabulary, colorful images, dramatic anecdotes, and interesting hypotheses. Not only was I moved by Jordan's essays, I learned much from them. The best books are those that lead readers to ponder, question, and further investigate what they have read. In this respect, as in others, Jordan's volume is commendable. Providing numerous challenges that will lead readers to reflect, debate, and inquire, William Chester Jordan's Men at the Center is a welcome addition to the numerous valuable contributions he has made to our knowledge of Louis IX's life and reign"