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Mother Teresa: The Final Verdict Paperback – December 20, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 415 pages
  • Publisher: Meteor Books, India (December 20, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8188248002
  • ISBN-13: 978-8188248001
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,816,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

109 of 117 people found the following review helpful By Tim Challies TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
Of the many biographies of Mother Teresa available to us, to my knowledge only two of them are largely critical in nature. The first, provacatively titled The Missionary Position examines Mother Teresa's faith and practice. Written by Christopher Hitchens, the book received a fair amount of recognition and formed the basis for a television documentary. The book is quite short and contains very little in the way of footnotes and documentation.

The other critical biography is entitled Mother Teresa: The Final Verdict and is written by Aroup Chatterjee. This title is several hundred pages longer than Hitchens' book and contains extensive documentation. Mother Teresa: The Final Verdict claims to reveal "the REAL Teresa (from the back cover)." Like Hitchens, Chatterjee is an atheist and his dislike of Mother Teresa has little to do with a religious bias. Like Hitchens, he has found that the reality of the woman and her work is a far cry from the legend. However, unlike Hitchens, he is a native of Calcutta, the city where Mother Teresa did her work, and the very city which will forever be linked to her.

Before I summarize the book, allow me to make one general statement. The book is long - probably too long. As I have already mentioned, Chatterjee provides extensive documentation and often provides multitudes of examples where only two or three may have sufficed. He sometimes repeats information in subsequent chapters, using the same information to prove two points. This, of course, is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does call into question the book's organization. In short, the book has some of the problems typical of those that have not been professionally edited.
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68 of 77 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
Dr. Aroup Chatterjee has presented meticulously researched uimpeachable evidence (photograph, videograph, recorded telephone conversations, etc.) exposing the enormous lie behind the Mother Teresa myth (soon to be declared saint by the Vatican!). MT was more interested in missionary (religious) activity than in charity, and played a big role in promoting the myth that sorrounded her. Amidst the unquestioned acceptance of this "mother of all myths" at least one person has stood up and exposed the lie. The book also illustrates how the media can create extraordinary myths (and equally well shatter lives) leaving truth far behind.
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54 of 62 people found the following review helpful By L.A. in CA on January 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
Mother Teresa made a name for herself as a selfless angel of the poor. At least in the Western world. Aroup Chatterjee, a native Calcuttan, in his meticulously researched book, dares to offer a different viewpoint. With all of the money that Mother Teresa received, evidently very little of it actually went to the poor of Calcutta. Most of the money was used in the upkeep of Nuns and Brothers and the training of priests around the world. First and foremost, Mother Teresa's mission was to spread Catholicism and her strong anti-abortion beliefs. When an author wanted to write a book on her, she told him:

"We are not nurses, we are not doctors, we are not teachers, we are not social workers. We are religious, we are religious, we are religious." That pretty much sums it up.

Beyond the story of Mother Teresa, there are insights into everyday life in Calcutta. The author is quick to point out that the image of Calcutta that Mother Teresa presented to the world is not an accurate portrayal of that city.

A fascinating read.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By BeyondOurKev on January 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is an impressive book, conceived out of deep regard for Calcutta and its inhabitants, and an overwhelming sadness that, in the eyes of the world, the author Aroup Chatterjee's vibrant home city and its culture "have become synonymous with the worst of human suffering and degradation". This dishonest stereotype was perpetuated in the service of the extraordinarily stubborn mythology of Mother Teresa, and created by Malcolm Muggeridge, a man who famously hated Calcutta. The author has amassed much oral and recorded audio and visual evidence, to support this indictment of Teresa's Missionaries of Charity.

Some readers will feel the book might have been better edited; Khushwant Singh has written that a date is incorrect, and so concludes that all other evidence, however well documented, is automatically suspect; some readers object to the occasional use of hearsay evidence; some simply choose to ignore all his evidence on the grounds that his conclusions disagree with their preconceived ideas. Some critics assert that Dr. Chatterjee's atheism negates his testimony (his Roman Catholic wife would disagree: brought up "in Ireland on Teresa mythology, [she] felt angry and cheated when she went to Calcutta and saw how the reality compared with the fairy tale"). I'd argue that it's actually impossible to reconcile most of Teresa's philosophy and practice with the Church's teaching; the only thing they seem to agree on is birth control.
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