Harper / Bookselling

As the Catholics of the world sit around waiting for the College of Cardinals to elect a new pope, this book serves as a timely reminder of how Vatican machinations can affect history.

This is a fascinating story—not only of the well-known Nazi appeasement that marked Pius XII’s papacy—but of his predecessor Pius XI’s intention to stand against Hitler. But for his untimely death, that pope might well have helped save the lives of millions. Kirkus’s outstanding review does a good job of capturing the plot twists and  the political intrigue of the story.

Notwithstanding the spate of current works on the tragic shortcomings of Pius XII during World War II, journalist and producer Eisner refocuses the spotlight in this relevant study on his predecessor, who did speak out against anti-Semitism and the threat of Nazism—though he was silenced by an untimely death in 1939. Pius XI, an activist pope…

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