Jerusalem: City of the Book

Jerusalem: City of the Book

Jerusalem: City of the Book

Jerusalem: City of the Book


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A captivating journey through the hidden libraries of Jerusalem, where some of the world’s most enduring ideas were put into words
In this enthralling book, Merav Mack and Benjamin Balint explore Jerusalem’s libraries to tell the story of this city as a place where some of the world’s most enduring ideas were put into words. The writers of Jerusalem, although renowned the world over, are not usually thought of as a distinct school; their stories as Jerusalemites have never before been woven into a single narrative. Nor have the stories of the custodians, past and present, who safeguard Jerusalem’s literary legacies.
By showing how Jerusalem has been imagined by its writers and shelved by its librarians, Mack and Balint tell the untold history of how the peoples of the book have populated the city with texts. In their hands, Jerusalem itself—perched between East and West, antiquity and modernity, violence and piety—comes alive as a kind of labyrinthine library.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300222852
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 05/14/2019
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Merav Mack is a historian and scholar of contemporary religion affiliated with the Harry S. Truman Research Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the German Protestant Institute for Archaeology at Augusta Victoria. Her current research focuses on Christian minorities in the Middle East. Benjamin Balint is a writer and translator based at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem. His previous books include Running Commentary and Kafka’s Last Trial.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

Introduction: The Hidden 6

Chapter 1 Creating a Canon: Antiquity 15

Chapter 2 The Arabic Era: 637 to 1099 51

Chapter 3 Medieval Mingling: 1099 to 1244 77

Chapter 4 From Mamluk Patronage to Ottoman Occupation: The Thirteenth to the Nineteenth Century 96

Chapter 5 Dragomans and Thieves: The Nineteenth Century 113

Chapter 6 Dreamers and Visionaries: Between Two Centuries 133

Chapter 7 Rescue and Return: The Twentieth Century 162

Epilogue: The Closed Gate 198

Notes 211

Acknowledgments 241

Index 245

Color plates follow page 88

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