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.
Simon Sebag Montefiore, geb. 1965, studierte Geschichte in Cambridge. In den neunziger Jahren unternahm er ausgedehnte Reisen in die ehemalige Sowjetunion, besonders in den Kaukasus, die Ukraine und Zentralasien. Er lebt in London.
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 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