Jerusalem: The Biography

Author(s): Simon Sebag Montefiore


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 civilisations. 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. 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, Rasputin and Lawrence of Arabia. 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 story of the city that many believe will be the setting for the Apocalypse. This is how Jerusalem became Jerusalem: the only city that exists twice - in heaven and on earth.


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Simon Sebag Montefiore is the premier historian of his generation. His STALIN: The Court of the Red Tsar was a Sunday Times bestseller, selling 50,000 copies in hb and 150,000 copies (so far) in pb. His books get fabulous reviews. Antony Beevor wrote in the Daily Telegraph of STALIN: 'Outstanding ... fascinating with a weath of new material ... [gives a completely fresh light to the era.'

Simon Sebag Montefiore was born in 1965 and read history at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge University. He lives in London with his wife, the novelist Santa Montefiore, and their two children.

General Fields

  • : 9780297852650
  • : Orion Publishing Co
  • : Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • : November 2010
  • : 234mm X 153mm X 45mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Simon Sebag Montefiore
  • : Hardback
  • : 1
  • : 956.9442
  • : very good
  • : 696
  • : 30 B/W Photo\Illu(s),12 Colour Photo\Illu(s),3 Map(s)