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Books

Jerusalem in the Twentieth Century

Friday 22/December/2017 - 10:16 AM
Sada El Balad

Jerusalem today is a vibrant، flourishing capital city and the vital center of worship for three world religions. Yet، 100 years ago -- a mere moment in time to a city celebrating its 3،000th anniversary -- Jerusalem was a provincial town، an outpost of the Ottoman Empire ruled from Constantinople.

This book describes the extraordinary transformation of Jerusalem in the past century، an epic struggle of passionate political، cultural، and spiritual forces.

It covers every facet of the legendary city s life -- political، cultural، architectural، intellectual، religious، and social.

Hardcover: 412 pages
Author: Martin Gilbert
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (June 1، 1996)
Language: English
Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches

About the Author
Sir Martin Gilbert is one of the world's preeminent biographers and historians. In addition to his universally acclaimed biography of Churchill، he is the author of In Search of Churchill (Wiley); The First World War; The Second World War: A Complete History; Auschwitz and the Allies; and Holocaust: The History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War. A Fellow of Merton College، Oxford، he divides his time between London and Jerusalem.

Editorial Reviews
Amazon.com Review
Renowned historian Martin Gilbert offers a history of Jerusalem in the 20th century through the eyewitness accounts of those who lived through it. Through documented accounts in letters، books and journals he follows the development of the city from a neglected Ottoman backwater، through the British mandate to the declaration of the state of Israel and the ensuing war in 1948، and on to the travails of the modern state which made Jerusalem its capital and created a modern city alongside the ancient one. Some of the most dramatic testimony concerns the division of the city in the 1948 war، and its reunification in the 1967 Six-Day war. Full of anecdotes that put history on a human level، the book includes the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the bus bombings of 1996.

From Publishers Weekly
A recurrent theme of this wonderfully vivid political، social and military history of 20th-century Jerusalem is that Arab intransigence in the face of repeated Jewish offers of peace، negotiation and reconciliation led to the protracted Israeli-Arab conflict. Gilbert contends that the Arab uprisings of 1921، 1929 and 1936 led to the separation of Jerusalem into Arab and Jewish neighborhoods. He also charges that Palestinian Arabs were، for decades، betrayed by their leaders، who rejected any form of Jewish sovereignty. And he notes that thousands of moderate Palestinians، who supported some form of compromise with the British or with the Jews، have been murdered by their fellow Arabs. He credits Teddy Kollek، mayor of Jerusalem from 1965 to 1993، with making major efforts to draw Arabs into the municipality as equals and active city administrators. Marshaling primary sources and weaving in the accounts of journalists، politicians، settlers and visitors to Jerusalem، Gilbert makes a compelling?if debatable?case. Photos. Author tour.

From Library Journal
First published in England، this sequel to Jerusalem: Rebirth of a City (1966) concentrates on the return of the Jews to Jerusalem in the 20th century. They find a squalid city badly governed by the Turks and inaugurate the cultural، intellectual، social (hospitals، etc.)، and economic rejuvenation in the city. What ensues is a continual record of conflict among the inhabitants of the region. Gilbert، a prolific biographer، editor، and author of history (The Day the War Ended، LJ 41595)، has centered his history strictly on Jerusalem; even the Six Day War is given from the standpoint of its effect on the city. He uses massive detail to paint a picture of great contrasts? the violence and bitter hatred and misunderstanding combined with kindness، forbearance، and brotherhood، even between Jews and Arabs، that have made up the tapestry of 20th-century Jerusalem life. Gilbert does analyze cause and effect or trends or even future possibilities. In comparison with recent titles on Jerusalem by Karen Armstrong، Cecelia Holland، or Tim Nachum Gidal (reviewed above)، this might be called an impressionist book. For larger colections.?Eugene O. Bowser، Univ. of Northern Colorado، Greeley

From Kirkus Reviews
This history is a monument to our capacity to create، and fight over، competing realities within the same space and time. Noted historian Gilbert (The First World War، 1994; The Day the War Ended، 1995) continues to establish himself as a thorough researcher with an eye for detail، irony، and symbolic moments. He follows the saga of Jerusalem from the turn of the century، when the city is an Ottoman backwater، filthy and neglected. Even this early، and with a Muslim occupier، there is a palpable hostility to the city's Jews and Christians on the part of the area's Muslim Arabs. Though Jews were in the majority even then، the Mufti's agents made Jerusalem's non-Muslims pay for access to their holy places. Readers are allowed to weigh current calls to internationalize، share، or divide this contested city with a century's perspective. Among the recurring patterns are the killing of Arab ``collaborators'' by Arab nationalists (1،000 between 1936 and '39) and the assassination of peacemakers (Jordan's King Abdullah) well before Sadat and Rabin. Other surprises include the fact that most of terrorist bombs set in Jewish West Jerusalem were rigged by British army deserters bribed by the Mufti، and that uniformed Syrian soldiers were counted among the civilian casualties in the massacre by Israelis of Arabs at Deir Yassin. Gilbert doesn't spare us the heart-wrenching details of an Arab bride-to-be blown up by Jewish terrorists or a Jewish Quarter mother felled by a sniper while hanging laundry. No strong bias mars the book، but most of the documentation، from texts to newspapers and journals، is from Jewish sources. Further، the plight of Jerusalem's Christian Arabs and Armenians could have received more attention. Gilbert has risen to the complex challenge of his earthlyheavenly subject، offering us، in this compelling history، both a Dung Gate and a Lions' Gate with which to enter this timeless city on its 3،000th anniversary. (photos and maps، not seen) (Author tour).

... most noteworthy for its richness of letters، journals and anecdotes.... The major events of this century come alive in eyewitness accounts... a brisk and panoramic story. -- The New York Times Book Review، Serge Schmemann.

From the Publisher
One of the world's greatest historians، Gilbert knows the city and its people intimately and has written extensively on the subject. In this fascinating book، he examines every facet of Jerusalem's story--a remarkable proliferation of religious، intellectual، social، and cultural activity. Describes the impact of two world wars، Israel's creation in 1948 with Jerusalem as its capital، the division of the city and its recent unification، the assassination of Rabin، and much more.

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