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His Holiness [Paperback]

By Carl Bernstein (Author) & Marco Politi (Author)
Our Price $ 13.60  
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Item Number 160998  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   592
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.46" Width: 5.52" Height: 1.29"
Weight:   1.23 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 30, 1997
Publisher   Penguin (Non-Classics)
ISBN  0140266917  
EAN  9780140266917  
UPC  051488014959  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
With the same meticulous reporting skills and narrative excitement that went into All the President's Men and The Final Days, journalists Carl Bernstein and Marco Politi provide an astonishing look at Pope John Paul II--the foremost political figure of our time. In their research, Bernstein and Politi have had unprecedented access to rare sources of information in Rome, Washington, and Moscow, including formerly top-secret Soviet files. Through these fascinating documents, His Holiness allows the reader a previously impossible glimpse inside the inner workings of the Soviet hierarchy, and shows how the Soviets recognized the serious threat John Paul II posed to their survival--even a the start of his papacy. Startling Politburo minutes show Brezhnev, Andropov, and other key figures heatedly discussing at length how to handle the pope--even within days of the nearly successful assassination attempt. Yet, John Paul II would come to dominate his era much as Churchill dominated his, ultimately fashioning an alliance with Reagan to reverse Yalta and hasten the demise of Communism.

Surprisingly, it was not for his political instincts that he rose through church ranks; rather he is the first prelate in history to rise to the papacy based on his work in the field of sexual morality--as writer, researcher, and counselor to young couples.

His Holiness succeeds where other studies have failed at capturing the humanness of John Paul II, and it explains the inner mysteries of the man who has set the Catholic Church on an unmistakable course that has both divided and uplifted the billion members of his church. What also emerges is the unknown story of a boy who turned to God after losing all his closest family members and whose unbelievable destiny was shaped by a youth in the midst of Nazi (and later Communist) Europe. However controversial, Pope John Paul II's iron will and strong convictions have made him the great moral leader of our time.

Was the fall of Communism a direct result of a covert confederation between the U.S. government and the Vatican? So claim reporters Carl Bernstein and Marco Politi in His Holiness. Citing meetings between Pope John Paul II and high-level officials in the Reagan administration--including William Casey, director of the C.I.A.--they point to a "secret alliance" as the factor that sealed the collapse of Communism. The evidence marshaled by Bernstein and Politi--ranging from formerly secret American diplomatic cables to formerly secret Soviet Politburo minutei--doesn't always justify their bold conclusion, but it does provide plenty of new information about a key set of events in modern history.

Buy His Holiness by Carl Bernstein & Marco Politi from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780140266917 & 0140266917 upc: 051488014959

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More About Carl Bernstein & Marco Politi

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Carl Bernstein is a contributing editor for "Vanity Fair" magazine and has written for a variety of publications. He is the author of "Loyalties: A Son's Memoir, " and has coauthored "His Holiness: John Paul II" and the "History of Our Time" with Marco Politi, as well as "All the President's Men" and "The Final Days" with Bob Woodward.

Carl Bernstein was born in 1944.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General   [38596  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Religious   [5128  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General   [5549  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Critically objective but respectful  May 8, 2006
Carl Bernstein and Marco Politi have written an excellent portrait of Karol Woytyla - both the man and the pope. The authors are objective about John Paul II's world vision, triumphs, shortcomings and place in history while being respectful at the same time.

"His Holiness" is not for those enthralled by the now deceased Woytyla's charisma who may interpret critically objective discourse as being anti-Catholic. The book fairly chronicles Woytyla's clashes with feminists both inside and outside the Church, his critical view of the values of the richer, "decadent" Western nations, and his attempts to crush all who did not share his viewpoints on Church doctrine.

The authors hint that Woytyla may have been reexamining his stance on the role of women and papal infallibility in the last years of his papacy. But the book was published in 1996. In it the authors note: "A principal problem facing John Paul II's papacy continues to be democracy in his own house.... (C)an a pope who championed democratic rights in Poland and all over the world continue to run the Church as an absolute monarchy?" I sincerely wish the authors will return to examine the last nine years of Woytyla's life.

I have never agreed on Woytyla's policies on contraception, divorce, the role of women in the Catholic Church, homosexuals and papal infallibility. But there is no question in my mind that the man was brilliant; his achievements were monumental in upholding the dignity of the human being, in fighting for freedom, and in reconciling with the world's other great religions.

And his constant, well publicized travels served a critical need. As the authors write:

"His very presence in the most desolate parts of the world provided a spark of hope for people in misery. For men and women trapped in the shantytowns and barrios of the Third World, the arrival of John Paul II sometimes offered the first significant testimony to their existence as human beings, the only time in their lives when their wretched living conditions were presented to the court of public opinion in their own countries and around the world."

Pope John Paul II "The Great"? Yes, without a doubt.

Pope John Paul II "the saint"? I'm not so sure.
The Political Part was OK  Apr 30, 2005
Among the many books written about Pope John Paul II, the book by Carl Bernstein and Marco Politi, His Holiness, stands out. That's because it's focus is on the role played by the Pope, working along with the Reagan Administration, in causing the fall of communism.

This was a delicate balancing act for John Paul. As Stalin so famously pointed out about a previous pope, he had no military power, only moral and spiritual power. As they recount his first trip as Pope back to Poland

"What was talking place now in Warsaw's Victory Square was a breakthrough to unknown horizons. John Paul II never uttered a word that might lead directly to a confrontation between Church and state, between the party and Christian believers, but everything he said marked the beginning of a grand turnabout for the Church -- in Poland, in Eastern Europe, in the Soviet Union, in world affairs. Through him the Church was laying claim to a new role, no longer simply asking space for itself. Through him it was demanding respect for human rights as well as for Christian values, respect for every man and woman and for the autonomy of the individual. These demands represented a direct assault on the universal pretensions of Marxist ideology, which by now had become an empty shell in the countries under Soviet influence."

A campaign just by Solidarity, even aided by the Pope, may have gotten no farther than the Hungarians in 1956 or the Czechs in 1968. What was different now was that the West, especially the Reagan Administration in the US, and Margaret Thatcher's government in Great Britain, had moved away from detente and began to actively push back. John Paul II had similarly moved away from the Ostpolitik of Pope Paul VI. The book details the co-operation in intelligence between the US and the Vatican. It also provides, through Politburo minutes obtained by the authors, the futile attempts by the old men of the Kremlin, and later the unsuccessful attempts of the younger Gorbachev, to get the toothpaste back in the tube.

This book, which was released in 1996, was a five year collaboration between Carl Bernstein (best-known for his work with Bob Woodward in All the President's Men and The Final Days) and Marco Politi, who is both the dean of Vatican journalists working for La Repubblica and then Il Messaggero, and a former Moscow correspondent. Countering a criticism, over how do we know what was really said at private meetings recounted in these exposé books, this book is quite detailed in its sourcing. The authors conducted, and documented, a long series of interviews with the people involved, up to and including President Reagan. The participants are quoted directly, and a Sources section at the back of the book shows who said what.

The book probably would have done better focusing strictly on the East-West struggles, but it was extended to include both a short biography of John Paul II's early life, plus a critique in the latter part of the book of the theological controversies during John Paul's long reign (and there were still nine years to go after the book came out.) While I'm interested in having Carl Bernstein as a guide through some of the great political struggles of the late 20th century, I really don't need him as a theology teacher.

While this isn't a new book, it is an interesting retrospective on one part of John Paul II's papacy.
Boring and biased  Apr 14, 2005
It is just too difficult to sort out the ideological agenda of the author from the facts. Bernstein utterly fails to understand one of the most interesting people of our time. This book has all the trappings of a serious work but when I read about the Pope I want to know what inspired the man. This tedious chronological and "investigative" work fails to provide that and thus we are left with a very boring read.
Using a pope's life to stand on a soap box  Apr 6, 2005
The Church changing her teachings regarding artificial contraception and other LIFE issues is like an engineer saying "well, its time to change that pesky law of gravity." Bernstein is more interested in his ideology than the life of Pope John Paul II. For a more balanced, scholarly, and less agenda driven biography of the Holy Father, look up George Wiegel. Don't waste your time with these hacks.
Horribly Anti-Catholic  Apr 2, 2005
The thesis of this book is inspired by an agenda by the author. It tries to applaud him with one hand while trying to dismiss him with the other by reducing John Paul II's complex and prophetic vision to a mere out of touch authoritarian woman hater. The only thing that is worthy of comment about this book, is the depth of myopia that the authors view this most inspiring, mystic, philosopher, artist, prophet, man who is a Father to us all.

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