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Jerusalem: The Biography
 
 

Jerusalem: The Biography [Kindle Edition]

Simon Sebag Montefiore
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (197 customer reviews)

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Review

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 20120303)

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 20120512)

...never a dull moment (David Bradbury DAILY MAIL 20120323)

Full of faith, power, slaughter and fanaticism; this is a unique chronicle, balanced and critical and wonderfully entertaining. (Chris Burgess The Examiner (Ireland) 20120303)

This is a city that has survived Hell, and Montefiore takes you to the heart of it. (James Cleary The Northern Echo 20120305)

Magnificent. (Stephen Lewis The York Press 20120310)

...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 20120318)

...heterogenous, sprawling, erudite and touched by genius (Catholic Herald 20120224)

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 20120101)

Review

If you want to understand the Middle East, read this. (GOOD BOOK GUIDE 20120512)

...astoundingly ambitious and triumphantly epic history of the city. (The Daily Telegraph )

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 )

...never a dull moment (David Bradbury Daily Mail )

...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 )

A fittingly vast and dazzling portrait of Jerusalem, utterly compelling from start to finish. (Christopher Hart THE SUNDAY TIMES )

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 )

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 )

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 SATURDAY REVIEW )

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4591 KB
  • Print Length: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix (27 Jan 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004KA9VCE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (197 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,263 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Simon Sebag Montefiore's bestselling and prize-winning books are now published in over 45 languages. His next major history book will be 'The Romanovs: 1613-1918,' a full history of the nineteen tsars of the Romanov dynasty over three hundred years, to be published in 2016.
He has won literary prizes for both fiction and non-fiction. His latest novel, 'One Night in Winter' won the Best Political Novel of the Year Prize and was longlisted for the Orwell Prize. His thriller-love-stories set in Russia -'One Night in Winter' and 'Sashenka' - are both out in paperback.
Amongst his history books: 'Catherine the Great & Potemkin' 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 British Book Awards. 'Young Stalin' won the Costa Biography Award (UK), the LA Times Book Prize for Biography (US), Le Grand Prix de la Biographie Politique (France) and the Kreisky Prize for Political Literature (Austria). 'Jerusalem: The Biography' won Jewish Book of the Year Prize (USA) and was Sunday Times number one non-fiction bestseller (UK).
Montefiore read history at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge University where he was awarded his Doctorate of Philosophy. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Visiting Professor at the University of Buckingham, Dr Montefiore is the presenter of 3 BBC TV series Jerusalem (2011); Rome (2012) and Istanbul/Constantinople - 'Byzantium: a tale of 3 cities'...

To follow the author on twitter: @simonmontefiore. For more information: www.simonsebagmontefiore.com

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
165 of 175 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important and beautifully produced book 2 Feb 2011
Format:Hardcover
Right from the off, with a blistering opening set in 70AD as the Roman general Titus lays siege to Jerusalem, this is a well-paced and absolutely gripping read.

Early on Simon Sebag Montefiore tells us that a story of Jerusalem is, really, `the story of the world'. If at the beginning I was sceptical, by the end I was not. What stops Jerusalem from being a Wikipedian succession of kings, rabbis, muftis and patriarchs is the author's elegant and consistent ability to supply fascinating characters - the kind of characters you might not expect to find in a book like this. For every despot - and there are plenty - Sebag Montefiore gives us a rake, a bungler or an eccentric. Just as Jerusalem emerges as a place of religious intensity, it is also a city addicted to vice.

An important and beautifully produced book. Highly recommended.
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84 of 89 people found the following review helpful
By Asmahan
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I came to this book as an Arab reader, growing up with songs, poems, and books written about beloved Jerusalem, but never have I come across a book offering such a luxurious detailed and honest view and at such a scale! Written with remarkable neutrality and taking us through the diverse and rich history of the most disputed and news making region in the world! This comprehensive, and unpatronising treatment of Jerusalem's past is neither overwhelmingly scholarly to gloss over the gory (and fascinating) details, nor too hurried as to miss out important facts. Simon Sebag Montefiore combines the rare talent of total political and cultural understanding with a great and most eloquent narrating skill!

"Jerusalem, the Biography" is a new sort of History, written as a biography, through the people who made Jerusalem, starting with King David and ending with Barrack Obama, over a span of 3000 years. Each section is about a person who, made, destroyed, believed in, or fought for Jerusalem, some are ordinary people, some are monsters and dictators. There is massacre, siege, blood, violence, but also beautiful poetry.

The story of Jerusalem, is truly (as the author expressed) the story of the world, as well, of the Middle East, of religion, of holiness, of empire! I was thrilled to read about one of the greatest philosophers, the Arab historiographer "Ibn Khaldoon", about Suleiman the Magnificent, Caliph Muawiya, Saladin Dynasty, Druze princess and angelic voiced Singer "Asmahan", the Hashemite (Sherifian) Dynasty, and most exciting to read was some poignant poetry by Nizar Qabbani.
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134 of 145 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Capital of Blood and Holiness. 22 Jan 2011
Format:Hardcover
If Jerusalem is a City of World History then it is the capital of blood and holiness. Simon Sebag Montefiore's superb new book is rich with salacious detail, scholarship and narrative drive. Such has been Jerusalem's centrality to history that the author is able to use the city as a prism to shine light upon a number of diverse periods and movements - Roman, Jewish, Christian and Islamic.
The structure of the book is chronological and finely weighted. Jerusalem has witnessed blood upon the hands of Jews, Christians and Muslims alike - yet the author is balanced and insightful enough to praise those rulers and characters of all religions who infused Jerusalem with a sense of tolerance, prosperity and architectural beauty.
Jerusalem may be a long book, but it is never laboured. One can read this book cover to cover, or dip into it to mine facts or comment on your favourite chapters, such as the Crusades or the middle east during WWI or WWII.
Am pleased to say that Jerusalem: The Biography lives up to the anticipation and hype.
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69 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God Bless Jerusalem: The Biography 23 Jan 2011
Format:Hardcover
Throughout history Jerusalem seems to have been at the hub of where the world can come together - and then also pull itself apart. The city, from King David's time to the present day, has served as a place of worship and a prize to be won. Simon Sebag Montefiore has written an expansively researched but pacy account of this desert town which, even now, somehow resides at the centre of the world. In many ways the author's Jerusalem is a stage, upon which players make their entrances and exits - but what characters they are: prostitutes and prophets, crusaders and caliphs, worshippers and warmongers.
If you enjoyed the author's gossipy yet elegantly written biographies of Stalin then you should enjoy this title too.
The publishers should also be applauded for framing such a sumptuous portrait in old fashioned production values. The cover is attractive and textured, the book contains four sets of plates where one usually just gets one or two nowadays and the paper quality and typesetting are excellent. My advice is to buy this book as a present for someone - and read it first.
My one criticism would be that I would have liked the maps to be in with the text, rather than filed at the end.
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53 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timely - and Terrific 6 Feb 2011
Format:Hardcover
Although Simon Sebag Montefiore's Jerusalem is an entertaining and engaging romp through history, the present instability in Egypt and the Middle East adds greater resonance to this wonderful book.
Jerusalem: The Biography tells of past uprisings, powerful yet unpopular leaders, bloodshed and religious and political conflict.
I purchased this book after reading various favourable reviews - yet such is the scope and richness of this book that no one review (including this one) can do justice to this book, period and region (which is again at the centre of the world's attention).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
more info on the israelites
Published 2 days ago by andrew
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Hefty read. Hardcore
Published 11 days ago by MISS HAYLEY L BISOFSKY
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent, a page turner, full of information and history
Published 12 days ago by John S
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
everybody should read this brilliant account of jerusalems history .
Published 15 days ago by Fergus
5.0 out of 5 stars It has been in the middle of wars between great powers from the time...
Awe-inspiring scholarship! Jerusalem has had so many invasions and near annihilations during its long history. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Pam Parr South Africa
5.0 out of 5 stars THE ONLY REAL BOOK ON ISRAEL
Classic book...everything you ever need to know about Israel and its turbulent history
Published 22 days ago by Brian Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very pleased with this book full olf history ,and facts
should have boughtg it long ago

J Moody
Published 25 days ago by john moody
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing achievement, fantastic read
Fantastic book and quiet a work to span the whole history but include detail.

Written from an biased perspective I would recommend to anyone interest in middle east... Read more
Published 27 days ago by D. Wood
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Somewhat fussy presentation but readable.
Published 29 days ago by Michael Ward
5.0 out of 5 stars Admirable
An excellent book on a controversial topic. I haven't met anyone yet who doen't admire it. It was a very useful preparation for a trip to Jerusalem.
Published 1 month ago by John Flood
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