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Goldhill, professor of Greek at Cambridge (The Temple of Jerusalem), provides an illuminating archeological, architectural and historical guide to Jerusalem's most important holy and secular sites from biblical times to the present. He loves the city, but doesn't romanticize either its past or its present, and a theme throughout is that the "city of peace" has always been a place of contention. Judaism, Christianity and Islam all vie for supremacy in the city, but many claims to authenticity are false, says Goldhill. He debunks, for example, Israeli archeologist Eilat Mazar's claim to have discovered King David's palace. Ironies abound in a city where the Abrahamic faiths are not only embattled but also intermingled; the key to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre has long been held by a Muslim family. As Goldhill explores Jerusalem during the Victorian period, which he claims laid the groundwork for much of the modern city, the impact of British mandatory rule, and the city today, he faces head-on the difficulty of telling the history of a place where every fact is contested by conflicting nationalist narratives. This is a highly knowledgeable and beautifully written look at both the "heavenly" and the "earthly" Jerusalem. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.