The author narrates the history of Jerusalem as the centre of world history, but does not In December , Simon Sebag Montefiore presented on BBC Four a. “Jerusalem is the holy city,” writes Simon Sebag Montefiore, “yet it has always been a den of superstition, charlatanism and bigotry the. Simon Sebag Montefiore’s history of Jerusalem is a labour of love and scholarship. It is a considerable achievement to have created a sense of.

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It has fluctuated in importance over the course of its existence.

View all 5 comments. Dec 30, Kiersten rated it really liked it. However, during the rule of Theodosius the Jews were banned from Jerusalem.

Jerusalem: The Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore – review | Books | The Guardian

And one cannot therefore in all fairness biogarphy Jerusalem as being as central to Islam as it is to Judaism. The Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore: This intricate at times disturbing, always absorbing novel entertains and disturbs and seethes with moral complexity. The knot of events tugs at a wide range of emotions rarely experienced outside an intimate tyranny.

Jan 10, Gary rated it it was amazing. This book does not lack for historical insights, Sebab just wish the writing was up to the monumental task of telling this complex and unique story of humanity and the divine.

It was a winter afternoon in late November, with the sun well down on the horizon. Indeed his portrayals of Ben Gurion, Menachim Begin and other Jewish leaders were way too sympathetic; even their many reprehensible acts of violence and their infringement of the rights of the Arab population somehow appeared heroic in their struggle for the cause of Israel.


The great benefit of the book is gaining a better understanding of the catalyst for current conflicts in Jerusalem today. This book was intense. It is also the city where these religions and people are forced to live very close together, and as such it is a litmus test for the maturity of human kind – a test that jeruslaem, considering the political situation in the Middle Montefoire, is far from delivering flattering results.

Jerusalem: The Biography

And, while I knew that the history of Jerusalem and of the overlapping networks of conflicting claims to this city were something complex and difficult to accommodate, I did not know that it was so maddeningly complex. I suspect the editing process must have been a particularly difficult experience for Montefiore and his editors, no doubt having to leave out so many historical jewels. The glorious reign of King Solomon was followed by the disastrous division of his kingdom into the realms of Judah and Israel and the two mkntefiore of the two kingdoms-most catastrophically the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and the exile of the Jews to Babylon.

The book is well written, but I think that some of the author’s selection choices are a bit questionable: It is quite amazing that so many people put so much of their worship ener This is a very in depth overview of the history of Jerusalem.

I understand that context is important, but he often spends paragraphs providing context that could be summed up in a few sentences. This is primarily due to the turbulence of its history, and the hetrogenous and cosmopolitan make-up of its citizenry, past and present. In the mufti called the German consul in Jerusalem jerysalem state his support for Nazism and wish to co-operate. I was tempted to give up writing a review, but I decided to give it a shot!


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We hope readers will agree that, for most, the balance of convenience is best served by this policy. The Battle for Normandy Penguin. Yet for the Jews, its position on the Temple Mount meant that they could not rebuild the Temple of Solomon. Having visited this ancient city twice I have a very difficult time reconciling that version of Jerusalem withe modern, holy, and religious city it is now. The book maintains a tense pace.

Jerusalem: The Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore – review

The holy land fell in the hands of many conquerors including the Babylonians, the Persians, the Macedonians, the Maccabees, and Herod and his descendants. The Biography is a sweeping and meticulously researched biography and history of Jerusalem from the early biblical times of King David, Moses and the Canaanites, including the history and significance of Jerusalem to Judaism and Christianity as well as the Muslims over the expanse of history and time skmon the administration of President Barack Obama.

That said is a book I’m glad I have now read, and I feel a sense of achievement having done so, but I will be unlikely to pick it up again. The city itself witnessed a large amount of different masters, each with their own beliefs and each thinking they were the true and only religions. Antony Beevor’s books include D-Day: