Recommended by a friend of a friend, I have just started Simon Sebag Montefiore's 2011 history epic "Jerusalem - The Biography," and it certainly lives up to the accolades I read on Amazon. Starting at the beginning it presents a history of the city up until 1967. I have got as far as the conquest of Alexander the Great and am finding it hard to put down. Only 550 pages to go but I am looking forward to them. A wide range of journalists, travel writers and politicians have praised the book for its scholarship and its entertaining style.
As the blurb says: From King David to the twenty-first century, from the birth of Judaism, Christianity and Islam to the Israel-Palestine conflict, this is an epic history of 3,000 years of faith, slaughter, fanaticism and coexistence. This is how Jerusalem became Jerusalem, the only city that exists twice - in heaven and on earth.