The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara
National Book Award Finalist
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.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Review: The Kidnapping of Edgardo MortaraUser Review - Patrick - Goodreads
This is an outstanding example of history being told through the combination of scholarly historical research and the weaving together of a compelling story. It reads like a novel as it relates the ... Read full review
Review: The Kidnapping of Edgardo MortaraUser Review - Adam Hummel - Goodreads
Exceptionally well-researched and well-told book about this little known historical event. This book, though long at times and immensely steeped in history, mainly with respect to the ever-shifting ... Read full review
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