Cover: Jerusalem: City of Longing, from Harvard University PressCover: Jerusalem in PAPERBACK


City of Longing

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Product Details


$24.50 • £19.95 • €22.00

ISBN 9780674034686

Publication Date: 03/30/2010


368 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

55 halftones, 7 maps

Belknap Press


Goldhill takes the reader on a tour of recent digs in Jerusalem, visits important buildings, provides fresh readings of texts and discusses competing theories with consummate learning and expository skill… Jerusalem: City of Longing is chock-a-block with entertaining anecdotes—many, alas, tall tales—about this most solemn of cities… The chief merits of this book, which should attract a broad readership, are the zestful vivacity with which Goldhill explores Jerusalem’s ancient ruins and texts and the mixture of scholarship that he…injects into his discussion of the unholy history of the holy city.—Bernard Wasserstein, The Times Higher Education Supplement

Why a new book on Jerusalem? No one will raise that question after reading this magnificent history and guide… [Goldhill‘s] extensive knowledge about Jerusalem make[s] this book a joy to read and re-read.—Morton I. Teicher, The Jerusalem Post

[A] pleasing archaeological history of Israel’s capital city. Jerusalem: City of Longing is a meticulously researched study of how the city came to be built and rebuilt by successive faith communities and conquerors… The maps are uncluttered, the photographs breathtaking. Not the least virtue of Goldhill’s volume is its remarkably balanced account of the Mandate, and of how Jerusalem came to be divided, and then reunited once more.—Geoffrey Alderman, The Jewish Chronicle

In Jerusalem: City of Longing, [Goldhill] serves up a playful pastiche of a book, peppered with enchanting anecdotes, that places Jerusalem at the world’s centre… The history of a city is more about interruptions, contests and heart-wrenching agonies. This is the kind of history Goldhill presents, and it is the main reason his book distinguishes itself among the many others on Jerusalem… A valuable guide for visitors, current residents and even for people who can only dream of ever visiting.—Kornel Zathureczky, The Montreal Gazette

Part history, part archaeology, part travel guide to Jerusalem’s holy sites and public buildings, this is an indispensable and enjoyable book for anyone interested in understanding the crucial role the city has played in the history of the three major monotheistic religions… Writing with humor and an eye for detail, Goldhill also exposes the myths behind claims made by the various religious denominations who have staked out the different sections of Jerusalem.—J. Fischel, Choice

Goldhill depicts a city that has transcended the often violent claims and controversies of its historical figures, revealing the many forgotten people who seek daily accommodation within its walls. Indirectly, as ‘more than another history,’ this work helps to explain how religious faith has brought layers of different civilizations to a very special place.—Zachary T. Irwin, Library Journal

Goldhill…provides an illuminating archeological, architectural and historical guide to Jerusalem’s most important holy and secular sites from biblical times to the present… This is a highly knowledgeable and beautifully written look at both the ‘heavenly’ and the ‘earthly’ Jerusalem.Publishers Weekly

Simon Goldhill has written an elegant and evocative multi-religious history of Jerusalem. Rock by rock, myth by myth, the book guides the reader through an exhilarating visit to the city, exposing its magnetism and fragility, its light and darkness.—Sari Nusseibeh, author of Once upon a Country: A Palestinian Life

A fascinating journey through Jerusalem’s most memorable places—and among its most colorful personalities, and epoch-making events. Simon Goldhill is a master historian and expert guide who reveals much that is unexpected about this revered, fought-over, and often misunderstood city. Engaging in tone, superbly written, and admirably even-handed, this book offers a compelling new portrait of the many souls of Jerusalem.—Neil Asher Silberman, co-author of The Bible Unearthed

Awards & Accolades

  • Gold Medal, 2009 Independent Publisher Book Awards, History Category
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