Sue Baker's view...
One of our Great Reads you may have missed in 2011.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 10 February 2011.
A triumphant history, a compelling narrative that flows seamlessly throughout. Montefiore marshals a huge cast of characters, chronicles the major events without forgetting the smaller, equally important details. An important book that presents the history of Jerusalem in all its religious, historical and political importance.
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March 2012 Non-Fiction Book of the Month.
The Lovereading view...
The epic story of Jerusalem told through the lives of the men and women who created, ruled and inhabited it. 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 story of the city that many believe will be the setting for the Apocalypse. This is how Jerusalem became Jerusalem: the only city that exists twice - in heaven and on earth.
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Jerusalem : The Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore
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.
'If you want to understand the Middle East, read this.' GOOD BOOK GUIDE
'Dazzling ... a fittingly vast history of the city, utterly compelling from start to finish'
'A wonderfully evocative guide to the past and present of its [Jerusalem's] story-soaked stones, even-handed, high-spirited and far more enjoyably full of sex and scandal than pilgrims might expect.' INDEPENDENT - Boyd Tonkin
'You fall in love with the city ... it's a wonderful book' President Bill Clinton
About the Author
Simon Sebag Montefiore is a historian and writer. His books are international bestsellers, published in 27 languages. CATHERINE THE GREAT AND POTEMKIN (originally POTEMKIN: PRINCE OF PRINCES) was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson, Duff Cooper, and Marsh Biography Prizes. STALIN: THE COURT OF THE RED TSAR won the History Book of the Year Prize at the 2004 British Book Awards. YOUNG STALIN (published May 2007) is its companion and prequel. Born in 1965, Montefiore read History at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, novelist, and television presenter, he lives in London with his wife, the novelist Santa Montefiore, and their two children. He is now writing JERUSALEM: THE BIOGRAPHY, a fresh history of the Middle East.
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