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Lu par : John Lee
Durée : 25 h et 30 min
Catégories : Anglais - History, Political

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Jerusalem is the universal city, the capital of two peoples, the shrine of three faiths; it is the prize of empires, the site of Judgement Day, and the battlefield of today's clash of civilizations. From King David to Barack Obama, from the birth of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to the Israel-Palestine conflict, this is the epic history of 3,000 years of faith, slaughter, fanaticism, and coexistence.

How did this small, remote town become the Holy City, the 'centre of the world' and now the key to peace in the Middle East? In a gripping narrative, Simon Sebag Montefiore reveals this ever-changing city in its many incarnations, bringing every epoch and character blazingly to life. Jerusalem's biography is told through the wars, love affairs, and revelations of the men and women - kings, empresses, prophets, poets, saints, conquerors, and whores - who created, destroyed, chronicled and believed in Jerusalem.

Drawing on new archives, current scholarship, his own family papers, and a lifetime's study, Montefiore illuminates the essence of sanctity and mysticism, identity, and empire in a unique chronicle of the city that many believe will be the setting for the Apocalypse. This is how Jerusalem became Jerusalem, and the only city that exists twice - in heaven and on Earth. Read by John Lee.

©2011 Simon Sebag Montefiore (P)2011 Random House Audio

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  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Andries Gouws
  • Andries Gouws
  • 14/04/2016

Hard to absorb as audiobook, excellent as a read

This is a book I should rather have read in print. That would have the added benefit of being able to look at the countless maps and illustrations, none of which is included in the Audible edition (inexplicably, given the ease of providing a pdf file).

Jerusalem is a city with a fascinating history, and Montefiore does about as good a job of telling this history as one could wish for. (The book doubtless deserves its countless rave reviews, and John Lee's narration is also excellent).

However, at times hour after hour of narration involving a constant succession of potted descriptions of conquests, rebellions - and the atrocities involved - becomes hard to absorb and leaves one's head spinning. Like an account of thirty football games in direct succession, one loses score and can't remember who did what to whom - just that it was exceedingly bloody.*

This is true mainly for earlier parts of the book (after a few hours I almost decided to stop listening); I found the later actors and events, which are dealt with at greater length, easier to remember.

I listen to audiobooks - most of them intellectually quite challenging - while painting; somebody who does nothing else while listening may find the whole of the book easier to absorb.

So, my advice is: if your eyesight and lifestyle allow it, read it instead of listening to the 25 hour audiobook.

* "In “Jerusalem: The Biography,” Simon Sebag Montefiore unleashes so many kings, killers, prophets, pretenders, caliphs and crusaders, all surfing an ocean of blood, that the reader may begin to long for redemption, not from the book, which is impossible to put down, but from history itself." - Jonathan Rosen in a review of the book in the NYTimes, Oct. 28, 2011.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Bin Mahmood
  • Bin Mahmood
  • 26/10/2019

A wonderful history of a wonderful city written by wonderful author and narrated by wonderful narrator

Being a Muslim I always thought why Aqsa Mosque is of importance when we have Mecca available. I had strong doubts of egoistic sense of ownership in every faith over there in Jerusalem. This very book clarified everything. The word mosque itself appeared after the advent of Islam. Church came into being when Jesus registered himself as prophet. Jews among oldest hence hold rights more than both of the other abrahamic faiths. All you need to do in order to understand this is to go through this book with secular mindset keeping your religious sentiments aside.

And yet somehow all three faiths believe this city as holy. Any mosque or church shall never be demolished but yes, Jews should be allowed to be the owners of their holiest city. This is my conclusion after reading the book. It’s not a review but in a way it is since it tells you the knowledge gained through it and convincing someone to change his views.