Holocaust George Weigel Witness to Hope

ISBN 13: 9780060932862

Witness to Hope

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9780060932862: Witness to Hope

The Definitive Biography of Pope John Paul II

Witness to Hope is the authoritative biography of one of the singular figures -- some might argue the singular figure -- of our time. With unprecedented cooperation from John Paul II and the people who knew and worked with him throughout his life, George Weigel offers a groundbreaking portrait of the Pope as a man, a thinker, and a leader whose religious convictions defined a new approach to world politics -- and changed the course of history. As even his critics concede, John Paul II occupied a unique place on the world stage and put down intellectual markers that no one could ignore or avoid as humanity entered a new millennium fraught with possibility and danger.

The Pope was a man of prodigious energy who played a crucial yet insufficiently explored role in some of the most momentous events of our time, including the collapse of European communism, the quest for peace in the Middle East, and the democratic transformation of Latin America. This updated edition of Witness to Hope explains how this "man from a far country" did all of that, and much more -- and what both his accomplishments and the unfinished business of his pontificate mean for the future of the Church and the world.

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Review:

For his monumental authorised biography, Witness to Hope, George Weigel was given unprecedented access to Pope John Paul II and the people who know and work with him. Other biographers have either had a political agenda, or didn't have the theological and cultural expertise to fully analyse this "pope from a far country". Not so with Weigel.

Witness to Hope not only tells the story of the boy who grew up in occupied Poland to become the first non-Italian pope for centuries, but it also explores the Pope's part in the second Vatican Council, his role in the downfall of communism, the rapprochement between Israel and the Vatican, and the downfall of dicatorships around the world. Weigel understands the motors that drive Pope John Paul. He shows how the Pope's intellect is given heart by his love of poetry and drama, and how intellect and creativity merge to create a mystic personality in a world of action. History, theology, spirituality and a profound humanism are all woven together in the Pope's life and in Weigel's analysis. Witness to Hope is scholarly and complete, but the author's journalistic experience means he also knows how to keep the reader's interest with human stories, anecdotes and fascinating detail.

Only three popes have earned the title "The Great". Many Catholics want the present pope to be the fourth. They are more likely to enjoy this biography than his critics, who may find it too admiring. In this reviewer's judgement, Weigel does admire the pope, but he has maintained his objectivity and given us a book which steers clear of both adulation and biased criticism. --Dwight Longenecker

Review:

“A lucid account of John Paul II’s life is the best we have.” Daily Telegraph

“The first full scale biography that presents the Pope’s life from the inside and the convictions that shaped his life.” Catholic Times

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