National Book Award winner, James Carroll has just released Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited our Modern World. Here is the description of the book at Carroll's web site for it:
In Carroll's provocative reading of the deep past, the Bible’s brutality was a response to the violence that threatened Jerusalem from the start. Tracing the richly intertwined threads of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim history, Carroll illuminates the mounting European fixation on a heavenly Jerusalem as spark of both antisemitism and racist colonial contempt. The holy wars of the Knights Templar burned apocalyptic mayhem into the Western mind. Carroll's brilliant and original leap is to show how, as Christopher Columbus carried his own Jerusalem-centric world view to the West, America too was powerfully shaped by the dream of the City on the Hill -- from Governor Winthrop to Abraham Lincoln to Woodrow Wilson to Ronald Reagan. The nuclear brinksmanship of the 1973 Yom Kippur War helps prove his point: religion and violence fuel each other to this day, with Jerusalem the ground zero of the heat.This past week, the book received reviews from the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Christian Science Monitor, among many others.
I'm almost done with the book. It is half as long as his magisterial and influential Constantine's Sword, which I enjoyed soon after it came out. Jerusalem, Jerusalem is far more wide-sweeping, though.