Jerusalem: The Biography

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Jerusalem: The Biography
File:Jerusalem- The Biography cover.jpg
First edition
Author Simon Sebag Montefiore
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Subject History of Jerusalem
Publisher Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Publication date
27 January 2011
Media type Hardcover, Paperback, audiobook, E-Book at Google Books
ISBN 0-2978-52655
956.94/420099
LC Class 2011-020827
Preceded by Young Stalin (LA Times Book Prize, Costa Book Awards)

Jerusalem: The Biography is a 2011 bestselling[1][2] non-fiction book by British popular historian and writer Simon Sebag Montefiore.

Synopsis

File:Simon Sebag Montefiore.jpg
Author Montefiore's presentation of his book in Stockholm, 21 September 2011

Drawing on new archives, current scholarship, his own family papers and a lifetime's study, Montefiore illustrates the essence of sanctity and mysticism, identity and empire in a historical chronicle of the city of Jerusalem, that many believe will be the setting for the Apocalypse.[3]

Montefiore chose to organize Jerusalem chronologically, stretching it from King David's establishment of the city as his capital to the 1967 Six-Day War, with an epilogue pondering on more recent events. In the introduction, the author explains that "it is only by chronological narrative that one avoids the temptation to see the past through the obsessions of the present."[4]

The author narrates the history of Jerusalem as the centre of world history, but does not intend the book as an encyclopaedia of every aspect of this ancient city, nor as a guidebook of every niche, capital and archway in every building. At the beginning of his book, Montefiore clearly explains that neither does he intend to provide a history of Judaism, Christianity or Islam, nor a study of the nature of God in Jerusalem: for these he remands elsewhere, to a plethora of other publications.[5] His task, Montefiore affirms, is to pursue the facts, not to adjudicate between the mysteries of different religions or the secular reasons behind historical events: Jerusalem is a synthesis based on a wide reading of the primary sources, ancient and modern, on personal seminars with specialists, professors, archaeologists, families and statesmen, and on the author's multiple visits to Jerusalem, the shrines and archaeological digs.[6]

In December 2011, Simon Sebag Montefiore presented on BBC Four a three-part history of Jerusalem, based on his book and by the title Jerusalem: The Making of a Holy City.[7]

See also

References

  1. Rosen, Jonathan (28 October 2011). "Caliphs, Crusaders, and the Bloody History of Jerusalem". The New York Times. New York. 
  2. Cf. also IDB Cultural Center, Presentation at the Enrique V. Iglesias Auditorium, Washington, DC, 25 October 2012.
  3. Cf. Author's Website, Jerusalem section.
  4. Cf. Introduction, p. xxv.
  5. For a bibliographical list, see Sources and notes for the book
  6. Cf. Introduction, pp.xix-xxvi.
  7. Cf. BBC Four Schedule, Dec. 2011 and clips on the series.

External links