From Publishers Weekly
Known to many Catholics through his writings (Testimony of Hope; The Road of Hope), Vietnam's late Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan's amazing story is told by a former fellow seminarian who knew him from the time the cardinal was 18. Chau initially declined the cardinal's request to write about his life, but in 1999, reluctantly agreed, finishing the book just a few months before the cardinal died in 2002. Chau has meticulously chronicled Cardinal Thuan's life and that of his prominent family, which paid dearly for its involvement in the quest for Vietnam's independence. To help the reader navigate through a complex cast of characters, Chau has included a glossary and an explanation of Vietnamese personal names. He portrays Cardinal Thuan as a humble man who gladly would have served as a rural pastor, but was marked for leadership in the church early on. Even as he prepared for this role studying in Europe, Cardinal Thuan had a premonition that he would suffer martyrdom, and indeed, after being named coadjutor archbishop of Saigon in 1975, he was arrested by Communist authorities. Thuan subsequently spent 13 years in prison, which shaped his spirituality and leadership. Although this is not a critical biography, but the work of an admirer who also wrote a biography of the cardinal's mother, it serves to introduce one of Vietnam's most venerable religious leaders to a wider audience.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.