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Pope John XXIII: A Penguin Life (Penguin Lives) [Hardcover]

By Thomas Cahill (Author)
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Item Number 153643  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   176
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.94" Width: 5.24" Height: 0.86"
Weight:   0.76 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jan 31, 2002
Publisher   Viking Adult
ISBN  0670030570  
EAN  9780670030576  
UPC  051488019954  

Availability  0 units.

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Item Description...
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

Product Description
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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More About Thomas Cahill

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Thomas Cahill's appealing approach to distant history has won the attention of millions of readers in North America and beyond. Cahill is the author of four previous volumes in the Hinges of History series: How the Irish Saved Civilization, The Gifts of the Jews, Desire of the Everlasting Hills, and Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea. They have been bestsellers, not only in the United States but also in countries ranging from Italy to Brazil. He and his wife, Susan, also a writer, divide their time between New York and Rome.

Thomas Cahill currently resides in New York City, in the state of New York.

Thomas Cahill has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Hinges of History

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A Hearty Hatred for the Faith  Mar 28, 2008
Someone needs to notify the Holy Office (and Penguin) of this unfortunate publication.

Not only is "Pope John XXIII" unfair and poorly documented, but Cahill's portrayal of the Church in Rome from Peter to Pope John Paul II is the most blatant anti-Catholic drivel one could possibly come across. The author is rude, crude and writes in an overly antagonistic tone. He spends little space talking about Bl. Pope John, but rather finds it necessary to rip to pieces the Papacy past and present.

I found this work painful to read, not because of any truth contained therein, but because of the sheer magnitude of immaturity Cahill's literary posture exudes. What was most irritating was the treatment of H.H. Pius IX, and following, Cahill's criticism of Karol Wojtyla as priest and bishop, and then as Pope. His childish criticism of the latter's work, 'Love and Responsibility' (which I recommend to all as it is a tremendous achievement) is the best demonstration of this author's thoughtlessness, ignorance and unbridled prejudice.

The author claims to be Catholic -- but this is obviously deception. Thomas Cahill is no son of the Church, and writes with every anti-Catholic bias. Those who think favorably of this book can only be understood to share in the same depravity, and possible fate.
Short, but a Powerful Summary  Jan 18, 2008
The first fifty or so pages of this biography gives the reader a great summation of the history of the papacy, and, as usual, Cahill pulls no punches. The biography of Angelo Roncalli, however, was just as satisfying as the the summary. I liked this book so much I have sent copies to family members and friends. I'm probably a bit biased as I read and enjoy Cahill's writing and frank use of language. The size of the book makes it easy to read and re-read.
excellent book  Aug 1, 2007
I am a Catholic and I found this book to be both inspiring and refreshing. Cahill gives a history of the papacy to provide background for the reign of John XIII and tells the story of John's life up until his death. This is an excellent book for understanding the history of the church and the second vatican council. Very refreshing and spiritually enlightening.

All historians are subjective, Cahill crosses the line...  Feb 25, 2007
In the "Notes and Sources" at the end of his book, Mr. Cahill begins by saying, "This book is a biographical essay and not in any sense a definitive biography..." He ought to have said, "Two-thirds of this book is a biographical essay, the other third is an editorial rant against the Papacy and mainstream Roman Catholicism."

Following the example of "Good Pope John", I'll save the ad hominem attacks I'd like to direct towards Mr. Cahill for another forum, which is more than he does for those Catholics he disagrees with. I found it ironic that he repeatedly praises John XXIII for his consistent ability to forgive those who wronged or offended him during his career, but Mr. Cahill can't seem to bring himself to do the same for those churchmen, living and dead, with whom he disagrees. And Heaven forbid if you are Polish! Mr. Cahill seems to have a special antipathy for John Paul II and, I quote, his "...idiosyncratic Polish Catholicism..." His comparison of Pope St. Pius X with Richard Nixon is also noteworthy, if not indicative of his idyllic, 1960s Weltanschaung.

Yet, despite his consistent, non-shrouded distaste for anything short of "Kumbaya" Christianity, the pages dealing specifically with John XXIII's days as a member of the Vatican diplomatic corps are interesting and well written. That alone led me to award this book two stars, rather than a single star.
Inspiration for Grievous Times  Nov 10, 2006
This is a splendid work, exquisitely written by one of our best contemporary historians. Pope John XXIII has been forgotten in recent years, perhaps because it is more fashionable to seem moral rather than to be so. John XXIII wasn't flashy enough for the late twentieth/early twenty-first centuries. Nor has his reputation been helped by the facts that his pontificate lasted barely five years, and that the last forty-three years have seen a reaction to many of the reforms that resulted from the Vatican II council that he initiated. Cahill's short, beautiful biography rectifies this historical amnesia by bringing into sharp focus the life of this gentle, humorous Italian peasant who, to the surprise of nearly everyone became the head of the Catholic Church. But, as is typical of Cahill's work, this is more than just biography. He begins with a condensed history of the Catholic Church, concentrating on its gradual accumulation of power and, incidentally, its drift from its responsibilities toward humanity. This provides a background for the life and career of Angelo Roncalli, the man who would become Pope John XXIII. Throughout, Cahill provides a contrast between the priest and the organization (with its numerous heroes and villains) that he served. Out of this gripping story, which reads easily as well as any novel, Cahill depicts the life of an ideal Christian, a model for human behavior that may well inspire the reader.

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