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The Resource Jerusalem : the biography, by Simon Sebag Montefiore

Jerusalem : the biography, by Simon Sebag Montefiore

Label
Jerusalem : the biography
Title
Jerusalem
Title remainder
the biography
Statement of responsibility
by Simon Sebag Montefiore
Creator
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
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 three thousand years of faith, slaughter, fanaticism and coexistence. How did this small, remote town become the Holy City, the "center 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. As well as the many ordinary Jerusalemites who have left their mark on the city, its cast varies from Solomon, Saladin and Suleiman the Magnificent to Cleopatra, Caligula and Churchill; from Abraham to Jesus and Muhammad; from the ancient world of Jezebel, Nebuchadnezzar, Herod and Nero to the modern times of the Kaiser, Disraeli, Mark Twain, Lincoln, Rasputin, Lawrence of Arabia and Moshe Dayan. 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
Tone
Writing style
Award
  • Booklist Editors' Choice, 2011.
  • New York Times Notable Book, 2011.
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Popular historian Montefiore (Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar) presents a panoramic narrative of Jerusalem, organized chronologically and delivered with magisterial flair. Spanning eras from King David to modern Israel with rich anecdotes and vivid detail, this exceptional volume portrays the personalities and worldviews of the dynasties and families that shaped the city throughout its 3,000-year history. Montefiore explains how religious and political influences created the city’s character, while fostering its stature as a center of the Western religious world. He effectively demonstrates how political necessity stimulated and inspired religious devotion and how the portrayal of Jerusalem as a holy city sacred to three religions is relatively recent. Chapters are organized by epochs: Judaism, paganism, Christianity, Islam, Crusade, Mamluk, empire, and Zionism, with the body of the book ending with the Six-Day War. A balanced epilogue considers Jerusalem in the context of recent events. Drawing upon archival materials, archeological findings, recent scholarship, and his own family’s papers (he is descended from the 19th-century Jewish leader Moses Montefiore), Montefiore delivers Jerusalem’s unfolding story as epic panorama and nuanced documentary history, suitable for general and scholarly audiences. Photos and maps. (Oct.)  --Staff (Reviewed August 22, 2011) (Publishers Weekly, vol 258, issue 34, p)
  • Few historians have demonstrated the vision, mastery, and boldness necessary to publish on a subject so vast and in such detail as Montefiore (Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar ). Since Jerusalem's origins as a settlement more than 5000 years ago, its history, in the author's citation of 19th-century British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli, is "the history of the world." Montefiore explains the city's significance to the three Abrahamic faiths, the idiosyncrasies of its builders and conquerors, and the persistent perception there of a "divine presence." Montefiore starts with King David (he takes the Old Testament as the historical source), gets to the "quixotic and risky but pious" Crusades about halfway through the book, and goes on to note such "pilgrims" as Rasputin and Mark Twain. He confronts challenging questions, including the destruction of the Temple at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C.E. and by Titus in 70 C.E. and the remarkable "Dome of the Rock," and he moves onward to the creation of modern Israel. VERDICT A marvelous panorama for all readers with an interest in religious studies or world history. [See Prepub Alert, 4/4/11.]— Zachary T. Irwin, Pennsylvania State Univ.-Erie --Zachary T. Irwin (Reviewed October 15, 2011) (Library Journal, vol 136, issue 17, p89)
  • /* Starred Review */ The sanguinary story of thousands of years of conflict in the home city of religions. Perhaps it's impossible to write disinterested history, but Montefiore (Young Stalin, 2007, etc.) endeavors to do so—and largely succeeds. The author sees Jerusalem not just as the setting for some of history's most savage violence—some of the butchery makes Titus Andronicus look like a Sesame Street segment—but a microcosm of our world. Our inability to achieve sustained peace there is emblematic of our failures around the globe. Montefiore begins in 70 CE with the assault of the Roman leader Titus (not Andronicus) on Jerusalem, an attack featuring thousands of crucifixions of Jews—not to mention eviscerations to extract from the bowels of the victims the valuables they'd swallowed. The author then retreats to the age of the biblical David, and away we go, sprinting through millennia, pausing only for necessary explanations of politics, religion, warfare and various intrigues. The story is horribly complex, and Montefiore struggles mightily to make everything clear as well as compelling, but the vast forest of names, places, events sometimes thoroughly conceals some small treasure at its heart. Still, the history is here: Nebuchadnezzar, the Herods, Alexander the Great, Jesus, Pilate, Caligula, Paul, Titus, Justinian, the Arabs and the Muslims, the Crusades, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, Suleiman, Ottomans, Napoleon, Disraeli, Lawrence of Arabia, Zionism. There are even some guest appearances by Thackeray, Twain and Melville. Suddenly, we are in the 20th century, and only the names and the killing technology have changed. The author ends with the 1967 Six-Day War and with some speculations about the future. An essential text, bathed in blood, lit with faint hope.(Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2011)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10009754
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1965-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Sebag Montefiore, Simon
Dewey number
956.94/420099
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
Jerusalem
Label
Jerusalem : the biography, by Simon Sebag Montefiore
Instantiates
Publication
Note
"This Is a Borzoi Book"--T.p. verso
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
828556
Dimensions
cm
Edition
First U.S. edition.
Extent
pages
Isbn
9780307266514
Isbn Type
(alk. paper)
Lccn
2011020827
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780307266514
  • (OCoLC)701017696
Label
Jerusalem : the biography, by Simon Sebag Montefiore
Publication
Note
"This Is a Borzoi Book"--T.p. verso
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
828556
Dimensions
cm
Edition
First U.S. edition.
Extent
pages
Isbn
9780307266514
Isbn Type
(alk. paper)
Lccn
2011020827
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780307266514
  • (OCoLC)701017696

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