Jerusalem by Simon Sebag Montefiore

Simon Sebag Montefiore ascends new literary heights with his exquisite synthesis of Jerusalem’s history from biblical times till the present day.   It is an impressive and highly readable account of a city, which the author described almost as a living entity, that has had so much baring on the world, its religions and culture. As Montefiore himself puts it Jerusalem is all things to all men – everyone has an opinion and a connection to this historical and religious center however neutral one tries to be. He tells the story of the city from many different angles and is remarkably neutral given his own family history. He is perhaps more harsh than necessary on  20th century Jewish Jerusalem and fully acknowledges the guilt complex about the pogroms and the Holocaust that modern Israel and its supporters exploit. The book has been well received and reviewed by many others and in my opinion it deserves every bit of the praise. Montiefiore succeeds, where many others have failed, in producing a succinct and readable account of the history of Jerusalem with the city, not the people or their beliefs, as the central and most important character. A must read – the history of Jerusalem is the history of the world.

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