If you want to understand the Middle East, read this.
...astoundingly ambitious and triumphantly epic history of the city
Full of faith, power, slaughter and fanaticism; this is a unique chronicle, balanced and critical and wonderfully entertaining.
This is a city that has survived Hell, and Montefiore takes you to the heart of it.
...never a dull moment
...as entertaining as it is elucidating. It's a history that is sharply paced as a novel and fairly brims over with sparkling writing.
...heterogenous, sprawling, erudite and touched by genius
A fittingly vast and dazzling portrait of Jerusalem, utterly compelling from start to finish
Outstanding, superbly objective, elegantly written and highly entertaining
Simon Sebag Montefiore's history of Jerusalem is a labour of love and scholarship... a considerable achievement... he has a wonderful ear for the absurdities and adventurers of the past... totally gripping... vivid compelling, engaged, engrossing, knowledgeable
Compelling and thought-provoking...Working on an immense chronological and thematic canvas Sebag Montefiore does his subject more than justice. He narrates the terrible history of Jerusalem vividly and graphically... fascinating but ghastly.
Anyone with an interest in history should read this, if only to be reminded of just how much history has rolled back and forth over this pile of stones between 1458 and today. In fact, when compared with the carnage visited on it by the Romans, Crusaders, Albanians and, in the 12th century, the teenage King of Norway, the last 100 years there have been relatively peaceful.
It is a gripping read, told with verve and fluency, and explains why Jerusalem, like a living person, has touched the heart of so many cultures, East and West, for so long
a brilliantly detailed history... as entertaining as it is erudite
A scintillating portrait of Jerusalem. Utterly compelling and a moving picture of the city which has one way or another affected civilisation for thousands of years. Sebag Montefiore has become one of the greatest historians of his generation.