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Jerusalem: The Biography

Jerusalem: The Biography

Paperback Phoenix

By (author) Simon Sebag Montefiore

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  • Publisher: Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • Format: Paperback | 768 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 196mm x 50mm | 621g
  • Publication date: 1 March 2012
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1780220251
  • ISBN 13: 9781780220253
  • Illustrations note: Illustrations (some col.), maps
  • Sales rank: 2,729

Product description

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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Author information

Simon Sebag Montefiore read history at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he received his Doctorate of Philosophy. His books are published in over forty languages. CATHERINE THE GREAT AND POTEMKIN was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize. STALIN: THE COURT OF THE RED TSAR won the History Book of the Year Prize, British Book Awards. YOUNG STALIN won the Costa Biography Award (UK), the LA Times Book Prize for Biography (USA), Le Grand Prix de la Biographie Politique (France) and the Kreisky Prize for Political Literature (Austria). JERUSALEM: THE BIOGRAPHY won the Jewish Book of the Year Prize (USA). He is also the author of two acclaimed novels, SASHENKA and ONE NIGHT IN WINTER. Dr Montefiore's next major history book will be THE ROMANOVS: 1613-1917. He has presented BBC television series on the Holy Cities of Jerusalem, Rome and Istanbul. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Visiting Professor at Buckingham University, he lives in London with his wife, the novelist Santa Montefiore, and their two children. www.simonsebagmontefiore.com @simonmontefiore www.facebook.com/pages/Simon-Sebag-Montefiore

Review quote

A fittingly vast and dazzling portrait of Jerusalem, utterly compelling from start to finish -- Christopher Hart THE SUNDAY TIMES ...astoundingly ambitious and triumphantly epic history of the city THE DAILY TELEGRAPH Outstanding, superbly objective, elegantly written and highly entertaining -- Saul David MAIL ON SUNDAY Simon Sebag Montefiore's history of Jerusalem is a labour of love and scholarship... a considerable achievement... he has a wonderful ear for the absurdities and adventurers of the past... totally gripping... vivid compelling, engaged, engrossing, knowledgeable -- Barnaby Rogerson THE INDEPENDENT Compelling and thought-provoking...Working on an immense chronological and thematic canvas Sebag Montefiore does his subject more than justice. He narrates the terrible history of Jerusalem vividly and graphically... fascinating but ghastly. -- Munro Price THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH It is a gripping read, told with verve and fluency, and explains why Jerusalem, like a living person, has touched the heart of so many cultures, East and West, for so long -- Michael Binyon THE TIMES ...never a dull moment -- David Bradbury DAILY MAIL Full of faith, power, slaughter and fanaticism; this is a unique chronicle, balanced and critical and wonderfully entertaining. -- Chris Burgess The Examiner (Ireland) This is a city that has survived Hell, and Montefiore takes you to the heart of it. -- James Cleary The Northern Echo Magnificent. -- Stephen Lewis The York Press ...as entertaining as it is elucidating. It's a history that is sharply paced as a novel and fairly brims over with sparkling writing. Sunday Businesss Post ...heterogenous, sprawling, erudite and touched by genius Catholic Herald Anyone with an interest in history should read this, if only to be reminded of just how much history has rolled back and forth over this pile of stones between 1458 and today. In fact, when compared with the carnage visited on it by the Romans, Crusaders, Albanians and, in the 12th century, the teenage King of Norway, the last 100 years there have been relatively peaceful. -- David Hepworth THE WORD MAGAZINE If you want to understand the Middle East, read this. GOOD BOOK GUIDE a brilliantly detailed history... as entertaining as it is erudite TATLER A scintillating portrait of Jerusalem. Utterly compelling and a moving picture of the city which has one way or another affected civilisation for thousands of years. Sebag Montefiore has become one of the greatest historians of his generation. -- DAILY EXPRESS Jonathan Shalit