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The Pope's Last Crusade: How an American Jesuit Helped Pope Pius XI's Campaign to Stop Hitler
A conspiracy within the Vatican--to stop an outspoken Pope
In 1938, Pope Pius XI was the world's most prominent critic of Hitler and his rhetoric of ethnic "purity." To make his voice heard, Pius called upon a relatively unknown American Jesuit whose writing about racism in America had caught the Pope's attention. Pius enlisted John LaFarge to write a papal encyclical--the Vatican's strongest decree--publicly condemning Hitler, Mussolini, and their murderous Nazi campaign against the Jews.
At the same time conservative members of the Vatican's innermost circle were working in secret to suppress the document. Chief among them was Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, whose appeasement of the Germans underlay a deep-running web of conspiracy. Pacelli, who would become Pope Pius XII, was joined by Wlodimir Ledochowski, leader of the Jesuit order, to keep the finished encyclical from reaching the increasingly ill Pope.
Peter Eisner, award-winning reporter and author of the critically acclaimed The Freedom Line, combines shocking new evidence (released only recently from Vatican archives) and eyewitness testimony to create a compelling journey into the heart of the Vatican and a little-known story of an American's partnership with the head of the Catholic Church. A truly essential work, it brings staggering new light to one of the most critical junctures in modern history.
About the Author
Peter Eisner has been an editor and reporter at the Washington Post, Newsday and the Associated Press. His 2004 book, The Freedom Line, which won the Christopher Award. Eisner won the InterAmerican Press Association Award in 1991 and was nominated for an Emmy in 2010 in his role as producer at the PBS news program, World Focus. Eisner's other books include The Italian Letter, written with Knut Royce, which traces fraudulent U.S. intelligence prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.
Praise for The Pope's Last Crusade: How an American Jesuit Helped Pope Pius XI's Campaign to Stop Hitler…
“An exciting reminder of how Vatican machinations continue to haunt history.”
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