An Author Event with Andrew Lawler

Union Ave Books is proud to host author Andrew Lawler as he discusses his new book UNDER JERUSALEM: THE BURIED HISTORY OF THE WORLD'S MOST CONTESTED CITY.

This event will take place on September 28, 2023 at 6 pm in our store in downtown Knoxville.

Registration is required for entry to this event; you can reserve your spot at THIS LINK.


About Andrew Lawler:

Andrew Lawler is author of three books, Under Jerusalem: The Buried History of the World’s Most Contested City, The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke, a national bestseller, and Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?: The Epic Saga of the Bird that Powers Civilization.  As a journalist, he has written more than a thousand newspaper and magazine articles from more than two dozen countries. His byline has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and many others. He is contributing writer for Science and contributing editor for Archaeology. Andrew’s work has appeared several times in The Best of Science and Nature Writing.



A spellbinding history of the hidden world below the Holy City--a saga of biblical treasures, intrepid explorers, and political upheaval

In 1863, a French senator arrived in Jerusalem hoping to unearth relics dating to biblical times. Digging deep underground, he discovered an ancient grave that, he claimed, belonged to an Old Testament queen. News of his find ricocheted around the world, evoking awe and envy alike, and inspiring others to explore Jerusalem's storied past.

In the century and a half since the Frenchman broke ground, Jerusalem has drawn a global cast of fortune seekers and missionaries, archaeologists and zealots, all of them eager to extract the biblical past from beneath the city's streets and shrines. Their efforts have had profound effects, not only on our understanding of Jerusalem's history, but on its hotly disputed present. The quest to retrieve ancient Jewish heritage has sparked bloody riots and thwarted international peace agreements. It has served as a cudgel, a way to stake a claim to the most contested city on the planet. Today, the earth below Jerusalem remains a battleground in the struggle to control the city above.

Under Jerusalem takes readers into the tombs, tunnels, and trenches of the Holy City. It brings to life the indelible characters who have investigated this subterranean landscape. With clarity and verve, acclaimed journalist Andrew Lawler reveals how their pursuit has not only defined the conflict over modern Jerusalem, but could provide a map for two peoples and three faiths to peacefully coexist.




"A sweeping tale of archaeological exploits and their cultural and political consequences told with a historian's penchant for detail and a journalist's flair for narration."
--Washington Post

"In Under Jerusalem, journalist Andrew Lawler directs our contemplation away from the heavenly city, and down into the roots of history and faith. . . Mr. Lawler, unlike so many of his characters, navigates the terrain without offending the political or religious sensibilities of his subjects. . . In a city where the winner takes all, Mr. Lawler does an admirable job of striving for the diplomats' ideal of 'evenhandedness.' "
--Wall Street Journal

Under Jerusalem is a brilliant, highly innovative history of the most contested city on the planet. Andrew Lawler uses these untold stories of archeological digs near and under Jerusalem's sacred sites to convey all the colorful and violent and contentious history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is an astounding achievement--and a compulsive read."
-- Kai Bird, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author of The Outlier and The Good Spy

"What lies beneath? Lawler knows. Evoking the sights, sounds, and smells of ancient and modern Jerusalem, he introduces the reader to a myriad of archaeologists and other colorful characters, all concerned with unearthing the ancient remains of the city, frequently while grappling with thorny modern political, ideological, and theological issues. A must read for anyone interested in either the history or archaeology of Jerusalem."
-- Eric H. Cline, bestselling author of 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed

"Lawler presents a cast of char­ac­ters and a pro­gres­sion of events that build one on anoth­er, much like the archae­o­log­i­cal lay­ers them­selves, and the dis­cov­er­ies he shows us beguile and amaze. . . Lawler's prose and the spot­light he shines on the his­to­ry of each era make his account read like an excit­ing adven­ture sto­ry. . . Archae­ol­o­gy feels like a vital, rel­e­vant, far-reach­ing endeav­or shed­ding light on today's head­lines and tomorrow's world. . . Fascinating."
-- The Jewish Book Council

"Fascinating. . . Lawler effectively conveys how digging up Jerusalem, while continuing to provide stunning new insights, has often provided more kindling to a frequently flammable environment."
--The Jewish News of Northern California

"Lawler's history tracks both the marvels found underground and the events unfolding above them... Probing excavators' often partisan motivations, Lawler highlights archeology's power to shape narratives and its development from a discipline 'not far removed from its far older cousin, tomb robbing, ' into a modern tool of nationalist mythmaking."
--New Yorker

"Engrossing [and] exhaustively researched. . . This book may be non-fiction, but it reads like a fast-moving and suspenseful Indiana Jones thriller. . . A captivating exploration of a Jerusalem's buried history."
--The Times of Israel

"It's hard to imagine a definitive book being written about such a complicated subject, but this one is as close as it gets. Lawler gives a comprehensive, even-handed, clear-headed story about one of the most argued over pieces of land on the earth. But this is no dry treatise. It's more of an adventure story with the main characters being archeologists and treasure seekers. Lovers of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark won't be disappointed."
-- New York Journal of Books

Event date: 
Thursday, September 28, 2023 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Event address: 
517 Union Ave.
Knoxville, TN 37902
Under Jerusalem: The Buried History of the World's Most Contested City By Andrew Lawler Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593311769
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - September 26th, 2023