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.
Maybe I shouldn't have experienced a more academic historical view of Jerusalem, but it hardly seems wise to base the early history exclusively on the fables from the Bible and Torah.
Some scholarship and research could have helped to explain to a listener what we understand the old city was like from excavations and research and not just paraphrased the old testament and call it a job well done.
The later half was much better researched and balanced, and the modern period was very enlightening.
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.
It was very nice book full of facts and details. Hearing the audible gave a broad picture. I will certainly re-read the book. It would have been very beneficial if supplementary document contained more facts categorized by chapters
The reader could have been more engaging and the story deeper. As it is the reader is quick and clip in his pronunciations and the story highlights only the perverted events of history.
Deeper study of the subject and explanations -- including decent historical characters -- a more balanced view of Jerusalem would have been appreciated.
Avid general reader with a fondness for British and Irish Writers and world history.
Seekers of genuine historical fact (interspersed with a bit of knowledgeable opinion) will find this an amazingly valuable contribution. It is far too much to digest in a first listening but very worthwhile to listen in smaller doses. The points of view of all major players are well presented throughout. This reader will find it invaluable in sorting out all the current opinions which are expressed daily by the press or by those actually involved in making policies.
Born to be a writer. Raised to forget about it. Follow me on twitter @ArdaWhateverian
"In Jerusalem, don't ask me the history of facts.Take away the fiction and there's nothing left." (Nazmi Al-Jubeh)
This was an enjoyable listen on audible while roaming around the streets of Jerusalem. If there is one strong sentiment that resonated about this book, it would be Jerusalem's magic/madness that has repeatedly haunted its lovers and led them to the dying need to have to possess the demented city, claim it as their own and fight anyone who disagrees. A mad city, looks like it has always been this way.
Montefiore takes us on a wild journey and captures details that make one look at history through different eyes. I found myself disagreeing with some of the terminology and direction he takes, but this was nevertheless an enjoyable and very educational book that adds drama and suspense to history, with touches of gossip here and there that give away little-known-facts about facts. Well-written and much fun.
It was an excellent performance, but it's easier to find a particular passage in a print edition.
The capture of the Kotel in the 1967 war was thrilling.
This was terrific fun, as well as being packed full of fascinating details and characters. I especially appreciated the insightful and contrasting quotes at the beginnings of the chapters and the trivia in the footnotes.