How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 418 pp., $28
James Carroll's latest book is very ambitious. Invoking history, anthropology, social psychology, geography and theology, the author, a former Catholic priest, delves into the stories of the violence unleashed by the organized religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam throughout their existence. He anchors the book by describing how each has used the city of Jerusalem, holy to all three, as a symbol or metaphor or touchstone.
The book's title and subtitle, "Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World,"...