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The Pope Who Would Be King: The Exile of Pius IX and the Emergence of Modern Europe
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David I. Kertzer (Paul Dupee, Jr. University Professor of Social Science, Brown University)
The Pope Who Would Be King: The Exile of Pius IX and the Emergence of Modern Europe by David I. Kertzer (Paul Dupee, Jr. University Professor of Social Science, Brown University) at Abbey's Bookshop,

The Pope Who Would Be King: The Exile of Pius IX and the Emergence of Modern Europe

David I. Kertzer (Paul Dupee, Jr. University Professor of Social Science, Brown University)


Oxford University Press

European history;
Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900;
Revolutions, uprisings, rebellions;
Church history;
Roman Catholicism, Roman Catholic Church


512 pages

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Days after the assassination of his prime minister in the middle of Rome in November 1848, Pope Pius IX found himself a virtual prisoner in his own palace. The wave of revolution that had swept through Europe now seemed poised to put an end to the popes' thousand-year reign over the Papal States, if not indeed to the papacy itself. Disguising himself as a simple parish priest, Pius escaped through a back door. Climbing inside the Bavarian ambassador's carriage, he embarked on a journey into a fateful exile.

Only two years earlier Pius's election had triggered a wave of optimism across Italy. After the repressive reign of the dour Pope Gregory XVI, Italians saw the youthful, benevolent new pope as the man who would at last bring the Papal States into modern times and help create a new, unified Italian nation. But Pius found himself caught between a desire to please his subjects and a fear-stoked by the cardinals-that heeding the people's pleas would destroy the church. The resulting drama-with a colorful cast of characters, from Louis Napoleon and his rabble-rousing cousin Charles Bonaparte to Garibaldi, Tocqueville, and Metternich-was rife with treachery, tragedy, and international power politics.

David Kertzer is one of the world's foremost experts on the history of Italy and the Vatican, and has a rare ability to bring history vividly to life. With a combination of gripping, cinematic storytelling, and keen historical analysis rooted in an unprecedented richness of archival sources, The Pope Who Would Be King sheds fascinating new light on the end of rule by divine right in the west and the emergence of modern Europe.

By:   David I. Kertzer (Paul Dupee Jr. University Professor of Social Science Brown University)
Imprint:   Oxford University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 242mm,  Width: 162mm,  Spine: 43mm
Weight:   786g
ISBN:   9780198827498
ISBN 10:   0198827490
Pages:   512
Publication Date:   June 2018
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  College/higher education ,  Undergraduate ,  Further / Higher Education
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

David I. Kertzer is the Paul Dupee, Jr. University Professor of Social Science and Professor of Anthropology and Italian Studies at Brown University, where he served as provost from 2006 to 2011. He is the author of twelve books, including The Pope and Mussolini, also published by OUP and winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for biography; The Popes Against the Jews, a finalist for the Mark Lynton History Prize; and The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, a finalist for the National Book Award in 1997. He has twice been awarded the Marraro Prize from the Society for Italian Historical Studies for the best book on Italian history, and in 2005 was elected to membership in the American Association of Arts and Sciences. He and his wife, Susan, live in Providence, Rhode Island, and Harpswell, Maine.

Following his double biography of Pope Pius XI and Mussolini, this volume furnishes us with what might be regarded as the dramatic prelude to that story. It shares many of the qualities of Kertzer's Pulitzer Prize winning masterpiece. He brilliantly links the history of Italian characters to epochal changes in modern European history, including the changing fortunes of the papacy and its rule over the Papal States, of the time-honored tradition of divine right, and of the separation of the sacred and secular spheres of government and authority. The red thread of the book, the transformation of a genial and much-loved pope, inclined to liberalize and modernize, to an unloved symbol of reaction, brilliantly binds the whole togetherand with new stories and perceptions that make this book required, and riveting, reading. * Kevin Madigan, author of Medieval Christianity * This lively, sympathetic yet critical account of the early years of the pontificate of Pope Pius IX is worthy of its distinguished author. There is nothing like it in any language. * Rev. John W. OMalley, S.J., author of The Jesuits * A remarkable achievement - both a page-turner and a major contribution to scholarship accomplished with outstanding clarity and economy. Kertzer gives this story a remarkable degree of freshness, and brings out very vividly the determination, passions, blood and gore of this dramatic moment in European history. * John Davis, Editor, Journal of Modern Italian Studies * A riveting tour de force. David Kertzer shows how and why Pope Pius IX turned Roman Catholicism into the nemesis of modernity- with drastic consequences not only for the Church, but for the West-consequences felt to this day, when religion and politics form a lethal brew. Elegant writing, the pace of a novel, scrupulous scholarship - these hallmarks of Kertzer's body of work are all in evidence here, wonderfully so. * James Carroll, author of The Cloister * Kertzer writes lucidly, navigating the crowded scenery of his tale with great deftness. His narrative achieves momentum without sacrificing reflective depth, and makes spaces for the many stories spun by the protagonists themselves as they reasoned their way into and out of the predicaments they faced. * Christopher Clark, London Review of Books *

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