and did those feet?

By: snowgood

Dec 06 2016

Tags: , , ,

Category: Christianity, literature, Religion, Scripture

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I always seems to have a pile of books to read, but some stories are never “told” as the subject isn’t compelling enough for me to read the first page.

My sister bought me this “thick” volume at Christmas. Two years ago, possibly three. I looked at and thought, “Mmmm, that’s a bit thick” I might not manage that one.

What’s more I didn’t know the author, although gogglebox addicts tell me he’s on TV quite often.

Three weeks back I decided to dive right in.


What a book.

Rather foolishly I thought it might be a bit like Leon Uris’s novels, a bunch of fictions characters walking us through history.

But no, this is a fabulously detailed historical account of a city which has been the fulcrum of world for millennia.

Simon Sebag Montefiore didn’t completely grab my attention in the early chapters.

Where I had a limited knowledge of Jerusalem from my understanding Old and New Testament scriptures I was occasionally at odds with the author’s conclusions.

As I raced on from here i really warmed to the narrative.

The book seems to be written almost entirely without bias.

You might imagine it would have a pro-Jewish slant, but Montefiore is equally happy to lay into Muslim atrocities, Christian folly, and Jewish meddling.

As a Briton I was saddened to read that our Imperialist leaders have blood on their hands, and were sickeningly shameful in their dealing with Jews fleeing to their homeland in the wake of the Holocaust.

I’ve no idea how many characters are covered in this thick tome, but if you include the footnotes it even includes Prince Philip’s folks giving shelter to a Jew that would otherwise have been lynched.

The author of Moby Dick is mentioned, the Pope’s embarrassing moment on an official state visit gets a mention.

William Blake’s famous hymn gets a mention.

The real hero of the latter chapters is Moshe Dayan.  I’m sure there must be a Dayan biography out there somewhere, if so I’d loved to read it.

European anti-Jewish reporting gets a bashing, and I’m old enough to recall the BBC news when the Six Day War analysts ate their hats as Israel defeated the massed ranks of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan.

Yasser Arafat had his faults, but gets a pretty good press – anything else?

Absolutely loads of fascinating facts and characters.

I’d give this title a solid 9 out of 10.

What’s more I’m chuffed that the book covers Barak Obama’s involvement in the middle east, and I’ve finished the book whilst he’s still in office.




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