Publicity Contact: Camille Collins
THE POPE’S LAST CRUSADE
How an American Jesuit Helped Pope Pius XI’s Campaign to Stop Hitler
“An exciting reminder of how Vatican machinations continue
to haunt history.” -Kirkus Reviews
As the Catholic Church finds itself in the wake of unexpected transition with the historically unprecedented resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, author PETER EISNER brings the timely story of THE POPE’S LAST CRUSADE, How an American Jesuit Helped Pope Pius XI’s Campaign to stop Hitler.
Interestingly, current politics within the Catholic Church mirrors the kind of machinations that took place when Pope Pius XI died in 1939. In THE POPE’S LAST CRUSADE, (William Morrow; ISBN 9780062049148; On Sale March 19st 2013) PETER EISNER tells the fascinating, untold story of Pope Pius XI’s personal campaign to stop Hitler.
On June 25nd 1938, Pope Pius XI enlisted American Jesuit John LaFarge to draft a declaration condemning Nazism and anti-Semitism in the form of a papal encyclical−one of the highest public statements employed by the Holy See−in an attempt to rally world leaders to stop Hitler, Mussolini, and the Nazi onslaught before the start of an impending European war. LaFarge’s recent book, Interracial Justice, which argued that “racialism and nationalism” were fundamentally the same, had come to the Pope’s attention, and Pius XI was confident LaFarge was perfect for the task.
Pope Pius XI’s campaign to stop Hitler was halted by his own death in 1939, at which time Cardinal Pacelli was ordained Pope Pius XII. For seventy years, only parts of this story have been known. With exclusive interviews and materials heretofore unpublished in English, PETER EISNER reveals Pius XI’s courageous stance, and his intention to declare the Vatican’s rejection of Nazism. With great intrigue and suspense, Eisner deftly recounts how, after the death of Pius XI, Cardinal Pacelli, in league with other conservative churchmen, purposely put a stop to LaFarge’s encyclical, and how, willing to appease Hitler, they plotted in the background to block one of the most significant and progressive pronouncements ever commissioned by the Vatican.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: In his role as an editor and reporter for the Washington Post, Newsday and the Associated Press, PETER EISNER has amassed thirty years of experience reporting on the Vatican. His 2004 book, The Freedom Line, won the Christopher Award. Eisner won the Inter-American Press Association Award in 1991 and was nominated for an Emmy in 2010 for his role as producer on the PBS news program, World Focus. Eisner’s other books include The Italian Letter, written with Knut Royce, which traces fraudulent U.S. intelligence prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.
THE POPE’S LAST CRUSADE
How An American Jesuit Helped Pope Pius XI’s Campaign to Stop Hitler
HISTORY/Military / World War II
Morrow Avon | Non-Fiction | Hardcover | William Morrow
On Sale March 19st 2013