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Pope John XXIII: A Life (Penguin Lives) Paperback – Bargain Price, January 29, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Even once the author gets around to talking about Roncalli's life, he still spends a fair amount of words complaining of the conservative programs of the popes at the given time. It's not until Roncalli becomes pope that the story squarely centers on him, at which point the book actually becomes quite good. If Cahill would have kept his focus on Roncalli throughout, the book would have been much better.
I'm a protestant, so I have no particular love for the idea of the papacy, but I was distinctly turned off by the scornful, condescending tone that Cahill takes toward even the idea of orthodoxy. In short, there's just too much of the author in this book.
John XXIII was one of the rarest of humans...a gentle, loving and merciful soul who touched the world in ways that will long be remembered. One can't help but wish for more time with him. Let us hope that we do not wait another age for another like him.
Thought now retired, I am still a slow reader-- and thus liked the brevity of Cahill's book. A still "recovering" Catholic, I wss enchanted with the story of John XXIII. Whatever the current Vatican may do, I regard him as saintly. Cahill's bio may be brief, but one gets a clear picture of a boy from a poor but devout rural Italian family. His pastor is well described, who was a lovig mentor. One sees this boy become the man Angelo Rancalli. And beyond as a priest he finds leaders who---it seems to me--- practice what they preach. At the same time Angelo manages to survive and become a leader, with no loss of integrity--in times of repression.
His success in helping Jews escape the Nazis is touched on, as well as the dramatic way he changed elements of anti-semitic liturgy.
This was a radical man--- in the best sense of the word. As I learned from the nuns years ago, Jesus was a true radical.
Cahill give us a history of the Church before and after John XXIII. At times witty, caustic, but clearly fond of this remarkable man.
Cahill does make much out of what Pope John XXIII had to contend with in the form of conservative Cardinals and Vatican administrators. There are times Cahill seems too harsh towards these people, and possibly he overplays it to demonstrate Roncalli's legacy. However, the Catholic church does have the reputation as one of the most conservative institutions in the world (there are many examples as to why, the case of forgiving Galileo about 300 years after the fact is only one), so perhaps Cahill's depiction is accurate. It is ultimately hard to know for a Vatican outsider, but Cahill's book, skewed or not, is a great starting place for non-Catholics on the subject of the Papacy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like the way the author researched the life of Pope John XXIII . He gave insights into the Pope's life that I had never realized.Published 6 months ago by Ettamarie Peterson
My main interest in a biography is what the subject did in his prime. His childhood is of little interest to me. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Dan
I was stunned and disappointed. A waste of time. Cahill spouts reams of anti-catholic propaganda. This is not history, it is an angry man's diatribe.Published 19 months ago by Brent Forrest
Cahill's documentary and story telling research and style are brilliant.Published 19 months ago by Ephraim R. Fortunato
A quick read that was quite interesting. What I like about this series is that each writer puts and states their opinions of the person, the acts and the history. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Glenn D. Robinson
This is an outstanding account of the life of St. John XXIII. Thomas Cahill does a fantatastic job introducing this holy man to us.Published 21 months ago by Rita C. Altman
I read everything of Cahill's and often more than once. A brilliant objective historian that deepens my understanding of our world history. He does it royally again on this book.Published on July 29, 2014 by Linda R.Ross
A very good history of the papacy, and a loving portrait of John. Harsh on John Paul, but not without justification.Published on June 18, 2014 by Amazon Customer
Cahill's "Pope John XXIII" is absolute dribble. As is so typical of mass marketed histories and biographies, there is not a single footnote, reference, bibliography... Read morePublished on May 18, 2014 by Going Fishing