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Outline ReviewThe punchy Penguin Lives series is the best thing to hit popular biography in some time, and Thomas Cahill is just the fun and erudite guy to Penguinize Pope John XXIII. He captures both the irresistible character of Angelo "Little Angel" Giuseppe Roncalli, a peasant born in backwards Bergamo, and his place in world and church history. In fact, Cahill shows, as John XXIII, Angelo brought the church into the modern world in the 1960s, upsetting the poisoned apple cart of his nefarious predecessor, Pius X, whom Cahill convincingly likens to a Joe McCarthy with the private meanness of Nixon. John XXIII anticipated liberation theology by seven decades, reached out to Protestants and even non-Christians, and saved thousands of Jews from Hitler by wily machinations Cahill aptly compares to Paul's epistle to Philemon. (Cahill says it's unfair to brand Angelo's immediate predecessor, Pius XII, as Hitler's Pope--though he was a "moral pygmy" next to the giant John XXIII.) Cahill gives a quickie history of the Papacy that generations of cramming history students will thank God for, and includes just enough about Pope John's irreverent wit and way of life--the La Grenouille chef, the Jackie Kennedy friendship, the possibly apocryphal quip to a buxom woman wearing a crucifix ("What a Golgotha!"). An exemplary brief bio of an exemplary man. --Tim Appelo
Acclaimed not only for its "grace, skill and erudition," (The Washington Post) but also for its warm, engaging narrative, Thomas Cahill's Hinges of History series humanized the history of both the Jewish and the Irish people. In Pope John XXIII, he combines his remarkable insight and knowledge to portray this legendary and beloved pontiff.
Pope John XXIII opens with a concise but sweeping history of the Catholic Church and the papacy, culminating in the brief but unforgettable reign of Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli as Pope John XXIII, in the mid-twentieth century. At seventy-six years of age, neither an intellectual nor a highly trained theologian, he was at first regarded as a transitional pope. During his reign, however, he awed the world with the seminal and unprecedented change he brought about in his concern for the fundamental plight of humankind.
In rich, impassioned prose, Cahill follows Roncalli's life from his peasant roots to his landmark Second Vatican Council, with its emphasis on worldwide social justice, which marked the beginning of a true shift in the Catholic Church and its relationship to the modern world. In a biography that will captivate Catholics and non-Catholics alike, Cahill's signature blend of interpretive insight and scholarship mirrors Pope John's own intuition, spontaneity, and all-embracing vision.
Buy Pope John XXIII: A Penguin Life (Penguin Lives) by Thomas Cahill from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780670030576 & 0670030570 upc: 051488019954
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