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Jerusalem, Jerusalem Hardcover – 1 Aug 2011


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Hardcover, 1 Aug 2011
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Review

"A masterful look at the paradoxical city on a hill...a meditation unlike any book published this season, indeed a meditation for all seasons." - "Boston Globe""provocative" - "San Francisco Chronicle""JERUSALEM, JERUSALEM [is] James Carroll's timely contribution to richer understanding of the conflict over this city....If you want to follow the twists and turns between Israelis and Palestinians over who may end up controlling what in the holy city and why, reading Carroll's book is a helpful place to begin." - "St. Louis Today""[Jerusalem, Jerusalem brings a fresh interpretation of the city as well as the spiritual impetus of three monotheisitic religions' toehold in its long, bloody past....By reading this landmark book, those who think they know all there is to know about Jerusalem or the three religions that have coalesced around it will discover how much they didn't know." -"Oklahoman"the compelling follow-up to [Carroll's] best-selling Constantine s Sword...his use of Jerusalem as a prism to examine the development of monotheism, and his prescription for what he believes might be a more positive future path, provide a powerful and provocative intellectual journey." - "BookPage""one of the broadest and most balanced accounts of the city of King David in recent years...Conceptually profound, richly detailed, and wonderfully realized, this book brings to life the dynamic story of the Divided City." - STARRED, "Publishers Weekly""Carroll s writing is so compelling, so beautifully constructed, that, ironically, the book can be a very slow read. There is something on almost every page that makes the reader want to stop and contemplate. For those meeting Jerusalem for the first time, this volume makes a stunning introduction. For others, who have struggled with the city s conundrums, either its symbolic meaning in the history of civilization or its place in the modern world, Carroll s reflections will add clarity if not closure." - STARRED, "Booklist""A sound, deeply felt study of Jerusalem as the 'cockpit of violence' for the three Abrahamic religions....Another winner from a skillful writer and thinker of the first rank." - "Kirkus""Carroll here explores not Jerusalem but the idea of Jerusalem how, from the Crusades to Christopher Columbus s Jerusalem-centric view to the founding of Israel, the city has inspired passionate idealism and hence conflict....one of my nonfiction favorites." - "Library Journal""

From the Back Cover

Provocative . . . the book brims with splendid insights. "Los Angeles Times"
Jerusalem: the ancient City on a Hill, a place central to three major religions, a transcendent fantasy that ignites religious fervor unlike anywhere else on earth. James Carroll s urgent, masterly "Jerusalem, Jerusalem" uncovers the history of the city and explores how it came to define culture in both the Middle East and America.
Carroll shows how the New World was shaped by obsessions with Jerusalem, from Christopher Columbus s search for a westward route to the city, to the fascination felt by American presidents from Abraham Lincoln to Ronald Reagan. Heavenly Jerusalem defines the American imagination and always the earthly city smolders. Jerusalem fever, inextricably tied to Christian fervor, is the deadly unnamed third party to the Israeli-Palestinian wars. Understanding this fever is the key that unlocks world history, and the diagnosis that gives us our best chance to reimagine peace.
I dare you to read this book and see Jerusalem, or yourself, the same way. Bernard Avishai, author of "The Hebrew Republic"
"So provocative and illuminating that it should not be overlooked by anyone who cares about the future of Jerusalem." "Jewish Journal"
JAMES CARROLL's critically admired books include "Practicing Catholic," the National Book Award winning "An American Requiem," "House of War," which won the first PEN/Galbraith Award, and the "New York Times" bestseller "Constantine s Sword," now an acclaimed documentary." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars 44 reviews
86 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars magnificent! 19 Feb. 2011
By Brett Farrell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is no mere rehashing of the history of Jerusalem. It dives into the very souls of all those who have possessed it. It is an intensely deep read; every paragraph leaves you with something to think about. This book is not for casual enjoyment. Some may question their own beliefs afterwards, others may have a light turn on, but for the truly intelligent this book will answer questions with more questions. This book has become a prize possession for me and I will not likely lend it lightly. It is not for the closed minded or the willfully blind.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpectedly compelling 21 Jun. 2011
By Robert A. Grossman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I expected a dry history of Jerusalem. What I got exceeded my expectations. I am reminded of my favorite college history professor who lectured without notes, weaving a tapestry of the interconnected influences in Western Civilization. This author weaves a history of the idea of Jerusalem - what it has meant to Jews, Christians and Moslems - and how that idea influenced the world as we know it today with all its violence.

One may not agree with Carroll's thesis of sacred violence, but his presentation of evidence is compelling and thought-provoking. I admired the author's frankness about his own Christian point of view, yet he fiercely follows the logic of his thesis regardless. This book is dense with far-reaching ideas in every paragraph and one that you will want to read more than once. The author's explorations are wide-ranging, including the three monotheisms, world politics, psychology, nuclear weapons, not to mention the future of the planet itself. I highly recommend.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jerusalem, Jerusalem 17 May 2011
By Sally K. Severino - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
James Carroll is his remarkable best with this sobering, yet hopeful, book about how violence becomes interwoven in religion and politics. He uses the city of Jerusalem - the origin of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - to trace both literally and symbolically the flow of violence in the world even today.

He draws upon the insights of two men who have enriched our understanding of violence - Rene Girard and Gil Bailie. In particular, these two men have clarified the role of sacrificial killing and the role of the victim in recurring violence.

The sobering aspect of "Jerusalem, Jerusalem" brings home the reality that violence is escaping our control and threatening our human existence. The hopeful aspect of "Jerusalem, Jerusalem" is its call to wake up and change before it is too late.

The first step in waking up is to understand how heavenly Jerusalem defines our twenty-first century imagination. An understanding of James Carroll's insights provides this for its readers.

The book is not for the faint of heart!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inside the Eternally Burning Crucible .. 12 May 2012
By Erika Borsos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
James Carroll explores the past, present and future of the city of Jerusalem from the perspectives of religion and violence. He ties together ideas in a manner that few authors could match. His depth and breadth of knowledge is astonishing. This is a well researched book with multiple footnotes in each chapter that clarify and support the deep thoughts conveyed. Through serendipity, fate, or God's plan, all the major religions have a claim to the prime real estate in this Holy City. In ancient and present times, Jews, Muslims and Christians each had control over the city. James Carroll provides insights into how religion, sacrifice and violence are related. He starts from the beginning: from the hypothesis that life began from an explosion: the explosion of an atom, from a single point the universe has been expanding outward into infinity ever since, notice that this initial event itself is rather violent.

The paradox of violence is, that it is often used to justify and and explain its use to bring about peace. The author expands on this concept in myriads of ways pertaining to Jerusalem. Carrol tells us, ancient man went from finding food, to gathering, and then hunting and eventually killing both animals and each other. Human sacrifice became an acceptable ritual in religous rites, and then how animals became the substitute for human sacrifice and lastly, to the Christian concept that one human being, Jesus Christ sacrificed himself to save all of mankind. John Carroll provides unique insights into human behavior, religion and the historical changes that have occured during different eras in the city of Jerusalem. It is very difficult to convey in a brief paragraph the cadence of words and ideas which John Carroll so eloquently describes which keeps the reader mesmerized and wanting to read more and more.

The Roman rule over Jerusalem and the havoc they wreaked, the historical changes brought about in the lives of Jews is explored. The author further describes the historical diaspora of Jews throughout Europe as time marched on. Especially insightful are his chapters on how Muslims came to rule Jerusalem and then how the Crusaders entered the scene and brought about entirely different results, but violence seemed to be the core behavior employed. Then again, at times peace prevailed. The importance of the Temple in Jerusalem to Jews and the Dome of the Rock to Islam is explained magnificently. John Carroll weaves together complex thoughts and ideas from the ancient past to the present including how there was a near nuclear Armagedon in 1973 in Israel when Israel was attacked by Egypt and Syria and Golda Meir gave the orders of the arming of the "Temple Weapons". Moscow was not going to sit on the sidelines and watch as the United States helped arm Israel to fight its attackers. The Soviet Union sent nuclear subs to the Meditarranean and it is now known, "Moscow had provided nuclear warheads for the Soviet Scud missle brigades stationed in Egypt" (page 283). It is also an amazing fete how John Carroll weaves into this most fascinating book, the history of the founding of the United States and even the American Civil War - all acts of violence which led to changes in the world and the presence of the United States on the world scene and the dispersal of the values for which it stands. Erika Borsos [pepper flower]
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not light beach reading material 19 July 2011
By Kerry O. Burns - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was fascinated by the history of Jerusalem in James Carrol's book and how he draws comparisons between the different faiths who call Jerusalem their Holy Land. This is not an easy book to get through, definately not light reading that one takes to the beach. But with a rich ancient history and Mr Carrol gets to the soul of the city. His book allowed me to understand more completely why this city is the source of such contention.
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