Jerusalem: The Biography

Paperback Published on: 01/03/2012
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Bookseller Reviews

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Nor did their swords sleep in their hands
The words ‘epic’, ‘sweeping’, and ‘magisterial’ barely do justice to this book. It is an extraordinary achievement, all the more creditable for being so un... READ MORE
Henry Coningsby paperback reviews


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.

  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
  • ISBN: 9781780220253
  • Number of pages: 768
  • Weight: 620g
  • Dimensions: 198 x 128 x 50 mm

Customer Reviews

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Satisfyingly Deep
If you thrive on detail, this account will not disappoint. All the players, great and small, seem to make their entrances and their exits. Sadly, hardly a ... READ MORE
Having never been to Jersualem, this book has really brought it to life for me. I woudn't claim to have any great insight into the city and the friction th... READ MORE