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The Pope at War

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The Pope at War by David I. Kertzer
Paperback $22.00
May 30, 2023 | ISBN 9780812989960

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  • May 30, 2023 | ISBN 9780812989960

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  • Jun 07, 2022 | ISBN 9780812989953

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Praise

“A masterly character study of a flawed, tormented leader and a cautionary tale about the perils of both-sides-ism.”The New Yorker

“Kertzer brings all of his usual detective and narrative skills to [The Pope at War] . . . the most comprehensive account of the Vatican’s relations to the Nazi and fascist regimes before and during the war.”—The Washington Post

“Definitive.”—The Boston Globe

“Kertzer has spent decades excavating the Vatican’s hidden history . . . [His] new book . . . documents the private decision-making that led Pope Pius XII to stay essentially silent about Hitler’s genocide and argues that the pontiff’s impact on the war is underestimated. And not in a good way.”—The New York Times

“Remarkable.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Engrossing . . . exciting . . . moving.”—Richard J. Evans, London Review of Books

“David Kertzer, the son of a World War II U.S. Army chaplain, is a historian who studies Vatican documents newly opened to public scrutiny. In [his] books, he uncovers, in prose with the pace of Tolstoyan revelation, the motives and powers of popes and inquisitors who rule over the intimately personal and communal lives of Jews under their reign. . . . [His books] are neither polemics nor threnodies. They stand instead as the imperatives of scrupulous scholarship.”—Cynthia Ozick, Mosaic Magazine

A damning picture of a holy man who chose to remain silent about the mass destruction of European Jewry.”Haaretz

“A highly readable, a character-driven history well-paced with textured personalities, and a wealth of granular detail . . . [Kertzer] rarely editorializes—the facts are numbingly powerful.”—National Catholic Reporter

“A riveting history and valuable lesson for our time about the perils of neutrality.”Kirkus Reviews

“Combin[es] extraordinary documentation and elegant writing.”BookPage

“A captivating account of palace intrigue . . . [his] revelations . . . make sense of a papal tenure often excused away by apologists and, until now, not fully understood by scholars.”The Forward

“The most authoritative study yet [of Pius XII] . . . a searing indictment.”HistoryNet

“Fascinating, horrifying . . . a damning portrait.”Providence Journal

“Thoroughly researched and beautifully narrated.”—Times Literary Supplement

“Kertzer present[s] a highly unflattering evidence of the pope’s role during the Second World War and his silence regarding the Holocaust.”—Ian Kershaw, author of Hitler: A Biography

The Pope at War is the best historical nonfiction book I have ever read.”—Alan Lightman, author of Einstein’s Dreams

“With Kertzer’s magnum opus, the book on Pius XII is written, the dispute resolved, the case closed.”—James Carroll, author of Constantine’s Sword

“Brace yourself for a story full of horrors.”—Garry Wills, author of Why I Am a Catholic

“Kertzer has outdone himself and crowned his extraordinary career with this volume on Pope Pius XII.”—Kevin Madigan, Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Harvard University

“A magisterial new study of how the Vatican navigated World War II and why Pope Pius XII stayed silent in the face of the mass murder of Jews.”—Ruth Ben-Ghiat, professor of history and Italian studies, New York University

Awards

PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography LONGLIST 2023

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