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Jerusalem - The Biography Hardcover – 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf; 5th Printing edition (2011)
  • ISBN-10: 8771220151
  • ISBN-13: 978-8771220155
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #645,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Simon Sebag Montefiore's bestselling, prize-winning books are now published in over 45 languages. A historian specializing in Russia and the Middle East, Dr Montefiore's next major book is 'The Romanovs 1613-1918', a full political, cultural and personal history of the 19 tsars of the dynasty that ruled Russia for over 300 years and an analysis of the nature of Russian empire, to be published in 2016.

'Potemkin: Catherine the Great's Imperial Partner' was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson, Duff Cooper, and Marsh Biography Prizes. 'Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar' won the History Book of the Year Prize, British Book Awards. 'Young Stalin' won LA Times Book Prize for Biography (USA), the Costa Biography Award (UK), the Kreisky Prize for Political Literature (Austria) and Le Grand Prix de la Biographie Politique (France). Both Stalin biographies were bestsellers internationally. 'Jerusalem: the Biography' won the Jewish Book of the Year Prize in the USA and was number one non-fiction bestseller in the UK and an international bestseller.

He is also the author of two novels. 'One Night in Winter' won the Best Political Novel of the Year Prize in Britain and was longlisted for the Orwell Prize. His thriller-love-stories set in Russia - 'One Night in Winter' and 'Sashenka' - are both in paperback.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Visiting Professor at Buckingham University, he is the presenter of three BBC tv series, Jerusalem(2011); Rome (2012) and Istanbul/Constantinople -'Byzantium: a tale of 3 cities'(2013). He was educated at Harrow School and Caius College, Cambridge University where he received his Doctorate of Philosophy.
Twitter: @simonmontefiore
For more information: www.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Amazon defines two stars as meaning `I don't like it' and I didn't like this book. Nevertheless, I'm glad I've read it and I certainly respect the immense effort that went into writing it and I would recommend bits of it. In my opinion there are small sections that would work well as standalone vignettes, of the type that are published in history magazines: examples are the Preface and Helena the first archaeologist. The final chapters, from `The British Mandate' to the `Epilogue' would also stand alone as a fairly provocative bit of political discussion. Most of the rest of the book would be better written as bullet points of interesting (if often contradictory) factlets. This is my opinion and my opinion seems to contradict the vast majority of the reviewers on Amazon and certainly the quoted great and good who endorse the book on its cover. I suspect that the positive reviews are rewards for the ambition rather than the delivery. I also suspect that they are wrong in assuming that Montefiore really set out to produce a definitive history of Jerusalem.

I have a hypothesis as to what went so terribly wrong with this book. I believe that Montefiore set out to write the story of his illustrious family: a form of self-hagiography. He came equipped with a vague but comfortable set of family myths and a privileged position whereby he could access the very best sources. This is after all a man who can acknowledge the advice and help of the Duke of Edinburgh in writing his book. I believe that the focus of his intended story was Sir Moses Montefiore. I have stood by the citadel in Jerusalem and looked out on the incongruous Montefiore windmill, imagine how much greater the impact would be of that sight if your name happened to also be Montefiore.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By joel rubin on March 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
3 thousand years in several hundred pages. Each era is facinating, violent, depraved and sadistic. You couldn't make this stuff up. I wish Montefiore had more details with the early years, but I guess those details are impossible to come by and he only sticks with the facts. And for that I thank him.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Victoria on July 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gripping to say the least. When the history came to 'my" era, some major glaring omission, commissions of error or oversight. Example: The first major Jewish revolt against the White Paper (no more Jews into Palestine) reprisal was the bombing of the s/s Patria - a ship load of refugees not permitted to disembark in the Haifa Harbor, Which caused world revolution against the British who wanted to deport the survivors to Madagascar. Not "worthy of mention". The hanging of the three Irgun members and then the kidnapping and hanging of two British soldiers (reprisal), not a mention. This act of terrorism caused major anti-Semitic waves in England. The grove in which the two were hung is a historic grove in today's Israel. That was the Black Sabbath. What the author mentions is not the right Black Sabbath at all. It was a total country curfew where a new mother was shot to death when she hung diapers on the roof. I wrote the author with indisputable dates, names, and places but received no reply. A gripping book, with major holes in modern history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Rosen on January 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you have an interest in this center of three major of the worlds major religions, this is the book for you.
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