The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara
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.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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The kidnapping of Edgardo MortaraUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Kertzer (Sacrificed for Honor, Beacon, 1993) has uncovered fascinating new information about the unification of Italy. He recounts here the kidnapping of a six-year-old Jewish boy from Bologna who was ... Read full review
An excellently written book well researched and presented. However, when one considers inquisitions, scandals, public burnings, tortures and the direct or indirect cause of the murders of millions of people by the Christian, primarily, Catholic church, I cannot understand how they can have the lack of common decency to even appear in public. The Catholic Church has been the greatest blight on the human race.
Days of Desperation
The House of the Catechumens
Pope Pius IX
A Servants Sex Life
The Church Strikes Back
A Matter of Principle
The Inquisitors Trial
Defending the Inquisitor
The Rites of Rulers
New Hopes for Freeing Edgardo
Archival Sources and Abbreviations