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The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara Paperback – June 30, 1998
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Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Historical events are impossible to understand without learning of the human issues of the times in which they transpired. Such a study should not be a dry recounting of the facts when it can be, as Kertzer demonstrates, a living, breathing, gut-wrenching encounter with those who created that compelling history.
I know it's almost cliché to say that this reads like a good novel, but it's true.
The trial of Momolo Mortara rivals any of the stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and it is all the more riveting in the context of the amazing events that led to it. Sherlock Holmes could not have used his powers of deduction more skillfully than Momolo's attorney used his unbiased mind to separate facts from prejudiced and selective interpretations.
I give this book my highest recommendation. I hope that THE KIDNAPPING OF EDGARDO MORTARA has been or will be translated into Italian. Perhaps a greater awareness of the past can positively influence current challenges in Italy involving the assimilation of other cultures and religious beliefs - brought on by mass immigrations in recent years.
The controversy of the Mortara child was created when Pope Pius IX steadfastly refused to return a boy that had been taken by local police from his family at the direction of the church. While the Pope held fast to ecclesiastical doctrine, diplomatic support for the Papal States collapsed worldwide and the Italian lands governed directly by the Vatican were soon swept into the unified nation of Italy.
An important theme throughout the work is the role of the newspapers in their coverage of the episode. Numerous, conflicting accounts of events appeared worldwide and precipitated the spread of the controversy into lands far removed from Italy. The temptation to exploit the controversy continued well after the unification of Italy and the death of Pius IX.
In a closing chapter we learn of an erroneous report that the child's mother had, upon her deathbed, converted from Judaism to Christianity. To see someone's life exploited for religious, monetary, or political gain should certainly raise readers' ire today even more than it did then. The report of Marianna Mortara's conversion was quickly corrected in the newspapers by a person who understood what it was to play the pawn, and about whom we still know almost nothing: Father Pio Mortara.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent account of one of the events that may have triggered the fall of the Papal states.Published 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
Great important dramatic true story (unbelievably documented) that was an international cause. I don't know how the author managed to read the voluminous actual sources. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Monique Sue
I don't buy it. I don't buy his thesis at all. The case is very interesting but his idea that this is a major turning point in the unification of Italy and by inference the... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Matthew Resnick
While I thought that at times the book was a little repetitive, I learned a tremendous amount about Catholic history and about the history of Catholic-Jewish relations from it. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Renee A. Florsheim
Wanted to learn more from David Kertzer after "The Pope and Mussolini"; settled on this Nat'l Book Award Finalist, and am enriched in every way for having done so. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Peter Hillman
In 1858, as the Papal States were about to be swept away by the modern Italian nation-state,a Jewish family of Bologna found itself caught in the toils of the Inquisition. Read morePublished 13 months ago by John Conforti