The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara

Front Cover
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Jun 30, 1998 - History - 368 pages
8 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
Soon to be a major motion picture from Steven Spielberg. 

A National Book Award Finalist


The extraordinary story of how the vatican's imprisonment of a six-year-old Jewish boy in 1858 helped to bring about the collapse of the popes' worldly power in Italy.

Bologna: nightfall, June 1858. A knock sounds at the door of the Jewish merchant Momolo Mortara. Two officers of the Inquisition bust inside and seize Mortara's six-year-old son, Edgardo. As the boy is wrenched from his father's arms, his mother collapses.  The reason for his abduction: the boy had been secretly "baptized" by a family servant.  According to papal law, the child is therefore a Catholic who can be taken from his family and delivered to a special monastery where his conversion will be completed. 
   With this terrifying scene, prize-winning historian David I. Kertzer begins the true story of how one boy's kidnapping became a pivotal event in the collapse of the Vatican as a secular power.  The book evokes the anguish of a modest merchant's family, the rhythms of daily life in a Jewish ghetto, and also explores, through the revolutionary campaigns of Mazzini and Garibaldi and such personages as Napoleon III, the emergence of Italy as a modern national state.  Moving and informative, the Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara reads as both a historical thriller and an authoritative analysis of how a single human tragedy changed the course of history.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
5
4 stars
2
3 stars
1
2 stars
0
1 star
0

Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SheldonDeVane - LibraryThing

If you only have time to read one chapter, make it the first one "The Knock at the Door." If you have time to read another chapter, make it the Epilogue at the end. Hopefully, you will feel inspired to read all the chapters in the middle. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mbmackay - LibraryThing

True story of the Catholic Inquisition in Italy in 1858 taking a 6 yr old boy from his Jewish family because the illiterate maid had secretly baptised him when he was sick! Stunning story told in great detail. Read Feb 2007 Read full review

Contents

Defending the Faith
3
Days of Desperation
32
The Mezuzah and the CrossEdgardos Trip to Rome
42
The House of the Catechumens
48
An Old Father and a
71
Pope Pius IX
74
The Pope Denounced
83
A Servants Sex Life
91
23
197
The Inquisitors Trial
205
Defending the Inquisitor
222
The Rites of Rulers
238
New Hopes for Freeing Edgardo
247
Edgardos Escape
256
A Death in Florence
266
Momolos Trial
280

Drama at Alatri
102
Meeting Mother
109
The International Protests Spread
118
The Church Strikes Back
129
A Matter of Principle
143
Sir Moses Goes to Rome
162
Uprising in Bologna
173
3
174
The Inquisitors Arrest
184
13
190
The Case Against the Inquisitor
195
Epilogue
295
Acknowledgments
305
32
319
42
323
Archival Sources and Abbreviations
329
ུ འི ཚ ི ན ཎྜ ཝཿ ླ ིི ིི 55
338
Index
341
63
342
109
346
173
348
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1998)

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 nine books, including The Popes Against the Jews, which was a finalist for the Mark Lynton History Prize, and The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. He has twice been awarded the Marraro Prize from the Society for Italian Historical Studies for the best work on Italian history. He and his wife, Susan, live in Providence, Rhode Island.

Bibliographic information