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Jerusalem: The Biography [Audio]

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.Read by Andrew Sachs
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The epic story of Jerusalem told through the lives of the men and women who created, ruled and inhabited it. Abridged edition, read by Andrew Sachs.

About the Author

Simon Sebag Montefiore is a prizewinning historian whose bestselling books have been published in over forty-five 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 at the British Book Awards; YOUNG STALIN won the Costa Biography Award, LA Times Biography Prize and Le Grand Prix de Biographie; JERUSALEM: THE BIOGRAPHY was a number one bestseller and won the Jewish Book Council's Book of the Year prize; THE ROMANOVS: 1613-1918 was an international bestseller and won the Lupicaia del Terriccio Book Prize. Montefiore is also the author of the acclaimed novels SASHENKA, RED SKY AT NOON and ONE NIGHT IN WINTER, which won the Paddy Power Political Fiction Book of the Year Award. He read history at Cambridge University where he received his PhD, and now lives in London with his wife, the novelist Santa Montefiore, and their two children.


Documenting each conquest and conflict this book is a fascinating read and a significant accomplishment. -- Charlotte Vowden * Daily Express * a fascinating tour through the bloody history of the city, read by the wonderful Andrew Sachs. * THE LADY * vivid, violent, anecdotal and full of crazy, gung-ho, OTT characters, such as King Soloman ordering a pre-assembled, ready-to-go Holy of Holies because there was to be no hammering or noise in the House of God; and Captain Monty Parker, the panniless young aristocratic chancer who led an archaeological dig in 1909 which a Finnish spiritualist, a Swedish minder and an Armenian fixer to find the missing Ark of the Covenant ... Guess what, it wasn't there. * THE GUARDIAN * The narrative, which starts with the wortld of David abd concludes with today's tragic conflicts, deserves to be heard. * THE OBSERVER *

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 (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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