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The “explosive” (The New York Times) bestseller—now with a new introduction by the author

When Hitler’s Pope, the shocking story of Pope Pius XII that “redefined the history of the twentieth century” (The Washington Post ) was originally published, it sparked a firestorm of controversy both inside and outside the Catholic Church. Now, award-winning journalist John Cornwell has revisited this seminal work of history with a new introduction that both answers his critics and reaffirms his overall thesis that Pius XII, now scheduled to be canonized by the Vatican, weakened the Catholic Church with his endorsement of Hitler—and sealed the fate of the Jews in Europe.
Published: Penguin Group on Oct 1, 2000
ISBN: 9781101202494
List price: $14.99
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The information in this book should be known! I'll recommend it, for its content, but the writing is really pretty dry. For a shorter, but more eloquent treatment of this sordid tale, I'd recommend [Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews, A History] by James Carroll. The gist of the tale is that an inferred anti-semitism, combined with a relentless drive for papal power, and a myopic self-interest, drove Pius XII into a position of at the very least, inaction and more incriminatingly, shadow compliance with the Nazis in the Holocaust. It is a sad and sobering tale, and the heavy lifting of the research had to be done, (and has been done well) by John Cornwell, I just wish his prose was a bit more evocative.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A reasonably persuasive case for the involvement (and/or tacit complicity) of Pius XII with the Nazi regime and the Holocaust.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A great book to read in conjunction with The Myth of Hitler's Pope. Whatever your view on the topic, the book is well written and well documented. After reading both books, I think that both authors make a strong case for their POV, and that each provides ample evidence for his perspective. Extremely well researched and documented. Hoever, it seems plain that the title was a bit sensationalistic. If one accepts the author's arguments, Pius 12 seems more weak than diabolical. And reading this in conjunction with the Myth of Hitler's Pope seems a good idea as a way of exploring both sides. For the accusation in the title is rather severe.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book is on the borderline of conspiracy theory and history. Cornwall views Pacelli through glasses of a modern colour and over-eggs the evidence against the pope doing his memory a grave injustice.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book is a history of Pope Pius XII, the pope sometimes referred to as Hitler's pope. As a papal nuncio, he had established close ties with Hitler, and has been sharply criticized for failing to speak out as the Jewish population in Germany was systematically eliminated. The author, a Catholic himself, does not stint his subject nor try to excuse his behavior, but instead seeks to understand the perplexing behavior of a man he had grown up admiring.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Cornwell presents a rather one-sided view of the wartime papacy, and seems to be obsessed with the theme of anti-Semitism, to the detriment of his argument. From the start, he appears determined to condemn Pius' response to the Holocaust. The author himself has admitted since publication that he considers this work to be too damning of Pius. While there is much to be criticised of the papal response, Cornwell leaves little room for consideration of the Pope's other concerns and motivations; his responsibilities to Catholics & the threat posed to the Church by Nazism, possible repercussions of a vocal protest for Holocaust victims, his anti-Communist views, amongst others. The views expressed in 'Hitler's Pope' have not met with much support from within the academic community; it's an interesting read, but verges on polemic in places and shouldn't be read if you're looking for a good overview of this explosively contentious debate.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

The information in this book should be known! I'll recommend it, for its content, but the writing is really pretty dry. For a shorter, but more eloquent treatment of this sordid tale, I'd recommend [Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews, A History] by James Carroll. The gist of the tale is that an inferred anti-semitism, combined with a relentless drive for papal power, and a myopic self-interest, drove Pius XII into a position of at the very least, inaction and more incriminatingly, shadow compliance with the Nazis in the Holocaust. It is a sad and sobering tale, and the heavy lifting of the research had to be done, (and has been done well) by John Cornwell, I just wish his prose was a bit more evocative.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A reasonably persuasive case for the involvement (and/or tacit complicity) of Pius XII with the Nazi regime and the Holocaust.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A great book to read in conjunction with The Myth of Hitler's Pope. Whatever your view on the topic, the book is well written and well documented. After reading both books, I think that both authors make a strong case for their POV, and that each provides ample evidence for his perspective. Extremely well researched and documented. Hoever, it seems plain that the title was a bit sensationalistic. If one accepts the author's arguments, Pius 12 seems more weak than diabolical. And reading this in conjunction with the Myth of Hitler's Pope seems a good idea as a way of exploring both sides. For the accusation in the title is rather severe.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book is on the borderline of conspiracy theory and history. Cornwall views Pacelli through glasses of a modern colour and over-eggs the evidence against the pope doing his memory a grave injustice.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book is a history of Pope Pius XII, the pope sometimes referred to as Hitler's pope. As a papal nuncio, he had established close ties with Hitler, and has been sharply criticized for failing to speak out as the Jewish population in Germany was systematically eliminated. The author, a Catholic himself, does not stint his subject nor try to excuse his behavior, but instead seeks to understand the perplexing behavior of a man he had grown up admiring.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Cornwell presents a rather one-sided view of the wartime papacy, and seems to be obsessed with the theme of anti-Semitism, to the detriment of his argument. From the start, he appears determined to condemn Pius' response to the Holocaust. The author himself has admitted since publication that he considers this work to be too damning of Pius. While there is much to be criticised of the papal response, Cornwell leaves little room for consideration of the Pope's other concerns and motivations; his responsibilities to Catholics & the threat posed to the Church by Nazism, possible repercussions of a vocal protest for Holocaust victims, his anti-Communist views, amongst others. The views expressed in 'Hitler's Pope' have not met with much support from within the academic community; it's an interesting read, but verges on polemic in places and shouldn't be read if you're looking for a good overview of this explosively contentious debate.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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