Jerusalem: The Biography

August 13, 2019 - Comment

The epic story of Jerusalem told through the lives of the men and women who created, ruled and inhabited it.Jerusalem is the universal city, the capital of two peoples, the shrine of three faiths; it is the prize of empires, the site of Judgement Day and the battlefield of today’s clash of civilizations. From King

The epic story of Jerusalem told through the lives of the men and women who created, ruled and inhabited it.Jerusalem is the universal city, the capital of two peoples, the shrine of three faiths; it is the prize of empires, the site of Judgement Day and the battlefield of today’s clash of civilizations. From King David to Barack Obama, from the birth of Judaism, Christianity and Islam to the Israel-Palestine conflict, this is the epic history of 3,000 years of faith, slaughter, fanaticism and coexistence. How did this small, remote town become the Holy City, the ‘centre of the world’ and now the key to peace in the Middle East? In a gripping narrative, Simon Sebag Montefiore reveals this ever-changing city in its many incarnations, bringing every epoch and character blazingly to life., Jerusalem’s biography is told through the wars, love affairs and revelations of the men and women – kings, empresses, prophets, poets, saints, conquerors and whores – who created, destroyed, chronicled and believed in Jerusalem.Drawing on new archives, current scholarship, his own family papers and a lifetime’s study, Montefiore illuminates the essence of sanctity and mysticism, identity and empire in a unique chronicle of the city that many believe will be the setting for the Apocalypse. This is how Jerusalem became Jerusalem, and the only city that exists twice – in heaven and on earth.

Comments

Anonymous says:

A masterful account of Jerusalem, fatally undermined by woeful Biblical understanding Jerusalem is a compelling read, a sweeping historical survey of the most famous city in the world. Alas, Simon Sebag Montefiore writes with such woeful Biblical illiteracy and misunderstanding of the Christian faith and church history that it rather makes one doubt the reliability of the whole.For example, early in Jerusalem, readers are simply told that Genesis 1 and 2 are two conflicting creation accounts as if this would be a devastating revelation to anyone who believes in the…

Anonymous says:

A Well Told but Depressing Story Very interesting and informative, tracing the story of Jerusalem from David’s conquest of it before 1000 BC right up to the present time. There are a few bits of misinformation: e.g., when the Ark of the Covenant was captured by the Philistines it was not recaptured in battle but sent back. Also, the first half of the word ‘holocaust’ derives not from the Hebrew word for raising up but from the Greek word for ‘whole’. Montefiore seems to accept the biblical account of Jerusalem in the time of…

Anonymous says:

Worth buying the print book, rather than the Kindle version A very interesting book that I made the mistake of buying in Kindle. The Kindle version wouldn’t load the images, maps or family trees easily (or at all, at times), so I still haven’t been able to access these on the Kindle. It was only when I found a print version I realised that the extensive and very helpful foot notes were printed below the relevant pages- rather than waiting for Kindle to load the notes and then recover from the following (all too frequent) crash. I was using Kindle in…

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