The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe by David I. Kertzer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Pope and Mussolini is a very thorough look at the rise of Pope Pius XI and Benito Mussolini in the years leading up to World War II. Detailed are the Lateran Accords, the rise of Fascism in Italy, the strained relationship between the two men and their relationship with King Emmanuel, the many loves of Mussolini, and their eventual deaths. The author uses the fairly new release of Vatican and Italian documents from the period as resources. There is a lot of surprising detail and it is obvious that Kertzer did his research.
Well worth the read, especially if you do not know much about Italian/Catholic history of the time. It doesn't shine a good light on the Catholic leaders of the time, but ends with hope for the future.
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