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Hitler, the War and the Pope Hardcover – August 1, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-1585710065 ISBN-10: 1585710067

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Genesis Press (August 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585710067
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585710065
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,459,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This sympathetic portrait of Pope Pius XII serves as a direct rebuttal to John Cornwall's recently published Hitler's Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII (1999), a scathing indictment of the controversial pontiff's wartime record. After placing the beleaguered pope's actions firmly into historical context, Rychlak concludes that Pius did everything within his limited scope of power to condemn Hitler and to save Jews without endangering even more innocent lives. Although this respectful, painstakingly researched account of an undoubtedly compassionate and well-intentioned holy man mired in incomprehensibly difficult circumstances provides a wealth of thoughtfully outlined rationalizations, it fails in its mission to completely convince doubters that Pius XII could not have taken a more heroic public stand against Nazism. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

In this extensive revision, Ronald J. Rychlak plumbs the depths of the Vatican s internal report on Pius XII as well as investigates recent charges that Soviet counter intelligence was involved in a plan to discredit Pius XII.

He also takes on all the various charges against Pius XII from John Cornwell, James Carroll, Susan Zuccotti, and others. No serious charge is left unrebutted.

Mr. Rychlak is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association Professor of Law at the University of Mississippi School of Law. Mr. Rychlak has received three medals from the Holy See for his diplomatic service, and he advises the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations. His most recent book is Righteous Gentiles: How Pius XII and the Catholic Church Saved Half a Million Jews from the Nazis. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Professor Ronald J. Rychlak is Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association Professor of Law at the University of Mississippi, School of Law, where he has been on the faculty since 1987. He is a graduate of Wabash College (BA, 1980, cum laude) and Vanderbilt University (JD, 1983, Order of the Coif). Prior to joining the faculty, Ron practiced law with Jenner & Block in Chicago, and he served as a clerk to Hon. Harry W. Wellford of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ron is a member of the committee appointed by the Mississippi Supreme Court to revise that state's criminal code, on the editorial board of The Gaming Law Review, and a member of the Mississippi Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. He also serves as the university's Faculty Athletic Representative to the NCAA/SEC.

Ron is the author or co-author of seven books, including Real and Demonstrative Evidence: Applications and Theory (1995, 2nd ed., 2003). Lawyers Weekly USA called that book "a very valuable resource for lawyers looking to stay on top of their changing world." Crisis magazine called his book, Hitler, the War, and the Pope "the magisterial volume on the subject." He has been published in Notre Dame Law Review, UCLA Law Review, Boston College Law Review, Environmental Law (Lewis & Clark Law School), The Stanford Environmental Law Journal, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and several other periodicals and journals. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi.

Customer Reviews

Overall, this book is enlightening and informative to encounter.
Timothy D. Thomas
It is, therefore, wonderful to read a book which is not only meticulously researched and end-noted, but is thoroughly readable.
Catherine Strohlein
Catholic bashers and those who deride Pope Pius XII should avoid Ronold J. Rychlak and his book HITLER, THE WAR, AND THE POPE.
James E. Egolf

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

117 of 125 people found the following review helpful By Michael Novak on September 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Professor Rychlak teaches trial law at the Law School, and approaches the accusations against Pope Pius XII as a trial lawyer. I have read many books on Pius XII, and this is by far the most dispassionate in laying out the context, relevant facts, accusations, and evidence pro- and con-. The book is highly engaging because filled with so many little known facts. The research has been prodigious. Yet the presentation is as down-to-earth as it would have to be in a courtroom. Only in the appendix, in a detailed rebuttal to John Cornwell's duplicitous presentation, does Rychlak's contempt for poor work show through. This is a book anyone interested in a fair judgment must read. It offers many suggestions for further reading and research. Rychlak does not conclude that Pius XII was a saint, though he does show that he was ready for martyrdom. Pius XII himself worried that in following the course he did follow--condemning racist and genocidal theories and violent actions, and ordering religous houses to shelter victims and save as many as possible (as many as 860,000 by one Jewish estimate)--he did not go far enough. But he clung to his best practical judgment about what would save most, and imperil least, and trusted God for the rest. It is possible to say he could have done more. But it is also easy, especially in hindsight, knowing how events turned out and having research then not available. This is a wonderfully realistic book.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By John J. Haas on December 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
If you are looking for a well documented historical account of the situation between the Catholic Church and the Third Reich, you will find this book goes straight to the facts, names names, times, places, and events. This book completely shuns sensationalism, has impeccible research, and refutes inferior books such as 'Hitler's Pope' by John Cornwell.
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65 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Father John Keane, SA on August 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Every once in awhile an extraordinary book appears and this is one of them. Rychlak, who is associate dean for academic affairs and professor of law at the University of Mississippi School of Law, has written a definitive popular history of the papacy of Pope Pius XII during the Nazi era. His work is an honest portrait of a decent man who vehemently opposed Adolf Hitler and his minions with courage and heroism.
Rychlak agrees that a great injustice has been done in our time to Pius XII by recent books which have attacked his character and his actions. It is significant that many of these books are authored by Catholics or by former Catholics-none by Jews. Rychlak, as an expert trial lawyer, has skillfully collected a massive body of evidence to vindicate the memory of Pius XII, leaving the reader free to make final judgment upon his character and integrety.
Rychlak points out that the real quarrel of "disaffected Catholics" is with the "Catholic theological principle of papal authority in matters of faith and morals." In the epilogue, he critiques a book written by a former Catholic, John Cornwell, who gave it the vile title of "Hitler's Pope," a book which spreads half-truths and insinuations that tarnish Pius XII's name and record.
Cornwell uses dubious material, like a play called "The Deputy" (1963), to portray the pope as "silent" in the face of the Holocaust; as an anti-Semite, and as a Nazi sympathizer. In effect,Cornwell's anti-Catholic bigotry becomes part of a larger effort to weaken the moral and cultural influence of the Catholic Church by undermining the credibility of the papacy. In the afterward, professor Robert P.
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45 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Francis H. Sterling on September 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Want to know the truth about what is arguably the greatest calumny of the century? Don't take anyone's opinion but rather face the drudgery of going over the facts. Want to keep the drudgery to a minimum and get the facts easily with all details in historical context and referenced so that you can check them for accuracy? Check out this beautifully written, scholarly, fully annoted and easy to read history. Think John Cornwell's book, "Hitler's Pope" that the media covered day and night might have been a teensy bit untrue? Read the Epilogue in this book and you will get not only detailed exposure of the lies, but Cornwell's history and motivation. Religious orthodoxy hampering your lifestyle? Want to strike the shepherd and scatter the flock? For heaven's sake don't read this book. What's the liklihood this important and truthful work will get media coverage like Cornwell's book? Are you kidding? Want to be inspired by the dramatic story of Eugenio Pacelli/Pius XII, one of the most savvy, noble, and courageous men of the twentieth century? Read Law Professor Rychlak's book. It's a masterpiece.
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38 of 45 people found the following review helpful By george todd on November 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The author-lawyer provides a superb case that illustrates the heroic work of Pius XII to save Jews. The documentation, research, and commentary are flawless. But even more impressive is the framework the author develops to explain the limits within which Pius XII and his diplomatic allies had to wage their campaign to oppose Nazism and to rescue the victims of this horror. The book also provides a magnificent rebuttal to John Cornwell's assault on Pius XII. He shows the distortions, malicious editing, and grave omissions which make the Cornwell book an embarrassment.
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