Rock of ages

Despite the city’s tortured history of sacred violence, historian James Carroll wants to see Jerusalem as a source of hope.

By RON KRONISH
April 21, 2011 20:58
Old City views from the Austiran hospice

Old City views 521. (photo credit: SHMUEL BAR-AM)

James Carroll’s new book about Jerusalem is as profound as his previous books. Indeed, in many ways, it is an amalgam of the major themes that he tackled in two of his previous nonfiction masterpieces, Constantine’s Sword, which outlined in no uncertain terms the history of Christian anti-Judaism and anti- Semitism, and House of War, which focused on the theme of war and violence in American history.

Carroll is not your typical academic historian. On the contrary, he writes history with a distinctly personal point of view, about which he is upfront and clear from the beginning. In his introduction, he states succinctly: “I write as a Catholic, aiming to tell a full interfaith story, hoping that Jews, Protestants, Orthodox Christians and Muslims, as well as Israelis and Palestinians, will find themselves honestly represented here.”

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