Jerusalem: The Biography

Front Cover
Orion, Jan 27, 2011 - History - 406 pages

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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - busterrll - LibraryThing

Great Read Learned a lot - Reads like a Story from your crazy Aunt Sally what with some many Characters over the course of time but that is to be expected. Only downside - Font size of notes is so small as to require a magnifying glass. Well worth reading but a bit daunting given its size. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - NaggedMan - LibraryThing

Another reviewer wrote that "this book contains pretty much everything anyone could possibly want to know about Jerusalem". One might well add, and a great deal of things one would prefer not to have ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Simon Sebag Montefiore is the author of prize-winning, bestselling books that have been published in forty-eight languages. Catherine the Great and Potemkin was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize; Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar won the BBA History Book of the Year Prize; Young Stalin won the Costa Biography Award, LA Times Book Prize for Biography and the Grand Prix de la Biographie Politique; Jerusalem: The Biography won the JBC Book of the Year Prize and the Wenjin Book Prize; The Romanovs: 1613-1918 won the Lupicaia del Terriccio Book Prize. He is the author of the Moscow Trilogy of novels: Sashenka, Red Sky at Noon and One Night In Winter, which won the Political Fiction Book of the Year Award, and (with Santa Montefiore) of the Royal Rabbits of London children's novels. Many of his books are being developed as films and TV drama series.