Simon Montefiore did a great job in making the complicated history of Jerusalem understandable. There are some issues in his interpretation of Christian history that are questionable. Nonetheless, it's the best work on the matter.
Mesmerizing. Masterfully compiled, tastefully auditioned. The story is gripping and full of important history facts and interesting trivia nuggets along the way. Last sections show a clear bias as was expected from any human author of a certain background. Overall, amazing experience. Highly recommended for those interested in current Middle East political mess.
A good companion for a visit to Jerusalem. Keeping track of the actors is challenging at times. Puts contemporary events into perspective.
This book really covers the history in such a way that it really allows you to fit the events into histories you may already know. It was compelling and enjoyable. One issue I have is that there are frequent digs on the Bible, making critiques of its content without providing examples. More disturbing is that it would seem the author has not actually read the Bible he cites so frequently. Sometimes the statements about what the Bible says are blatantly false. (Ie:Judas did not invest the silver earned from betraying Christ as this book claims. One cannot even deduce that as a possibility) such falsehoods do make one wonder what other "facts" he presented were not verified.
Nonetheless-it's still a good book.
The litany of characters seemed to promote a rational flow of history while attempting to downplay the Judeo-Christian heritage that underpins the spiritual & timeless reality that keeps Jerusalem in the middle of everything.