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.
Great book for people who don't know much about the history of Jerusalem or it's peoples recommend it to anybody who wants a overview of the whole situation
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.
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.