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Some books about history and places, and their true hidden gist can be grasped only after you touch the stones, breath the air, toddle through its streets. That was my experience about "O Jerusalem !" by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Colins. The book describes the most contested part of Jerusalem history - the time of War in 1948 - the war launched by Arabs on the news of United Nations creation of Jewish State.
It is very detailed, epic, 600 pages of reading (or about 18 hours of listening). And it is great experience. You get deep into the individual people emotions, but you also get very good account of the global and regional history of the time.
Authors are really very objective. They did not write only black & white adoration of Jewish heroes of the time. They write about the dark sides as well. This dark sides resonated in my heart with the words and thoughts of my orthodox Jewish friend - though not in a direct simple way....
But above all it shows how incredibly difficult time Jerusalem had between 1947 and 1967, until it was reunited as a consequence of another war started by Arab countries.
It shows how precious is every stone, every inch of its streets. It weeps over all the victims of the tragedies...
It also tells a lot of amazing and incredible stories about the Jerusalem area - about Hebron and its Kfar Etzion, about Latrun and the heavy fights for this fortress, about famous Burma road and Tomb of Salomon....
It describes in a fascinating, almost like a thriller, the stories of arm purchases for young Israel in Europe, about Golda Meir fund rising for the new born state and so many other fascinating stories.
When it comes to the mood - it has a kind of melancholic-epic character, but - in a very positive sense of the world - it reflects the feelings you have there.
I recommend the book to everybody who plans to go to Jerusalem. I promise - you will look at its stone from a different perspective...
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
If you are interested in this area of history, this is a great piece of work! The detail given is exceptional. The amount of research necessary to put this book together must have been staggering. I highly recommend.
25 of 26 people found this review helpful
What did you like most about O Jerusalem?
Listened as research before visiting Israel. 23 hours is a huge investment but it was much easier to find the time to listen than to read, and I am so glad I did as it helped me understand much as I explored there.
It brought history to life with personal stories and most importantly I felt it was the most objective research I did. I think objectivity is hard to achieve in this part of the world.
Would you ever listen to anything by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre again?
If there was a follow up that followed the history of Israel OBJECTIVELY I would be very interested indeed. I was very sad it finished when it did.
Have you listened to any of Theodore Bikel’s other performances? How does this one compare?
Really enjoyed the narration.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
No way!! Just too long.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Over the whoke world there is no other land so fiercely fought over... GODS blueprint in his Word will prevail and the government WILL BE ON HIS SHOULDERS.. hallelujah.. This book is epic.. Liste. While it is still Today amen
The author attempts to balance the accounts of events, characters, and groups in an unbiased treatment of the subject. I found this book to be interesting and educational.
A long but brilliant narrative. All serious students of history should read/listen to this book. Behind the amazing stories that relate the first few months in the creation of the State of Israel is a hidden, but very real message - this was an absolute miracle!
The Almighty truly does work through individual lives and through communities of faithful and chosen people.