The Pope's Last Crusade: How an American Jesuit Helped Pope Pius XI's Campaign to Stop Hitler

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HarperCollins, Feb 26, 2013 - History - 304 pages
16 Reviews

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 Ledóchowski, 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.

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Review: The Pope's Last Crusade: How an American Jesuit Helped Pope Pius XI's Campaign to Stop Hitler

User Review  - Laurence O'Bryan - Goodreads

Thoroughly enjoyed this as part of my research for The Nuremberg Puzzle. One startling aspect came through clearly. The accusation that Pius XI was murdered just before he was about to speak to a ... Read full review

Review: The Pope's Last Crusade: How an American Jesuit Helped Pope Pius XI's Campaign to Stop Hitler

User Review  - Dusty Summerford - Goodreads

I really enjoyed this book. It doesn't matter to me if all of it was true or not. I watch movies all the time that are based on a true story. Lol! I thought it was very informative & interesting! It ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Peter Eisner has been an editor and reporter at the Washington Post, Newsday, and the Associated Press. His 2004 book, The Freedom Line, was the recipient of the Christopher Award. Eisner also won the InterAmerican Press Association Award in 1991, and was nominated for an Emmy in 2010 for 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.

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