Absolute Monarchs: A History of the Papacy by John Julius Norwich

By John Julius Norwich

Absolute Monarchs sprawls throughout Europe and the Levant, over millenniums, and with an impossibly gigantic solid: 265 popes, feral hordes of Vandals, Huns and Visigoths, expansionist emperors, Byzantine intriguers, Borgias and Medicis, heretic zealots, conspiring clerics, bestial inquisitors and extra. Norwich manages to prepare this crowded degree and bring a rollicking narrative. He retains issues relocating at approximately beach-read pace.”
—Bill Keller, New York Times booklet evaluate, hide review
“Renowned historian Norwich deals a rollicking account of the boys who held the papal workplace, their shortcomings and their virtues, and the effect of the papacy on global heritage. He conducts us masterfully on a travel of the lives of the popes from Peter to Benedict XVI. . . . enjoyable and deeply researched, Norwich’s heritage deals an excellent creation to papal lives.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Historian, go back and forth author, and tv documentarian Norwich provides an first-class, frequently unbelievable historical past of that 2,000-year-old institution….he specializes in political heritage as he strains the evolution of the papacy as an establishment, whereas whilst supplying enjoyable profiles of the main traditionally major popes….An notable ancient survey.”
“When Norwich writes, I learn; this member of the home of Lords is a impressive and engrossing historian, maybe most sensible recognized for his enormous examine of Byzantium. the following he bargains a heritage of the approximately two-millennia-old papacy that will be well liked by many readers.”
—Library Journal
“A lively, concise chronicle of the accomplishments of the main noteworthy popes. . . . Norwich doesn’t skirt controversies, historical and current, during this huge, clear-eyed assessment.”
—Kirkus Reviews
With the papacy embattled lately, it's necessary to have the point of view of 1 of the world’s such a lot finished historians. In Absolute Monarchs, John Julius Norwich captures approximately thousand years of idea and devotion, intrigue and scandal. the lads (and probably one girl) who've held this place of infallible energy over hundreds of thousands have ranged from heroes to rogues, admirably clever to completely decadent. Norwich, who knew popes and had deepest audiences with others, recounts in riveting element the histories of the main major popes and what they intended politically, culturally, and socially to Rome and to the world.

Norwich offers such courageous popes as blameless I, who within the 5th century effectively negotiated with Alaric the Goth, an invader civil specialists couldn't defeat, and Leo I, who 20 years later tamed (and possibly paid off) Attila the Hun. the following, too, are the scandalous figures: Pope Joan, the mythic lady acknowledged (without any substantiation) to were elected in 855, and the notorious “pornocracy,” the 5 libertines who have been descendants or fans of Marozia, debauched daughter of 1 of Rome’s strongest families.

Absolute Monarchs brilliantly portrays reformers reminiscent of Pope Paul III, “the maximum pontiff of the 16th century,” who reinterpreted the Church’s instructing and self-discipline, and John XXIII, who in 5 brief years beginning in 1958 “opened up the church to the 20th century,” instituting reforms that resulted in Vatican II. Norwich brings the tale to the current day with Benedict XVI, who's dealing with a world priest intercourse scandal.

Epic and compelling, Absolute Monarchs is the unbelievable tale of a few of history’s so much respected and reviled figures, males who nonetheless forged gentle and shadows at the Vatican and the area this present day.

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Nina Tumarkin, The Living and The Dead: The Rise and Fall of The Cult of World War II in Russia (New York, 1994). 49. E. Zubkova, Russia After the War: Hopes, Illusions and Disappointments, 1945–57 (Armonk, NY, 1998). 50. Ian Kershaw, ‘ “Working Towards the Fuhrer”: Reflections on the Nature of the Hitler Dictatorship’ in Ian Kershaw and Moshe Lewin (eds) Stalinism and Nazism: Dictatorships in Comparison (Cambridge, 1997), pp. 88–106; Hans Mommsen, ‘Cumulative Radicalisation and Progressive Self-Destruction as Structural Determinants of the Nazi Dictatorship’ in Kershaw and Lewin, Stalinism and Nazism, pp.

25 Stalin also publicly criticised one of the most characteristic cult practices: the lengthy ovations accorded to him at party meetings. He expressed irritation especially when these occurred at meetings of leading party workers, whom he felt were clapping rather than taking party matters seriously. 26 After A. A. Zhdanov had introduced him at a meeting of workers in the defence industry in June 1934, there were the usual stormy applause and ovations, to which Stalin responded ‘it always happens like this with us – when they want to turn a serious matter into a joke, they start to applaud’.

Véronique Garros et al. (eds) Intimacy and Terror (New York, 1995), p. 205. 45. Oleg Khlevnyuk, ‘The First Generation of Stalinist “Party Generals” ’ in E. A. ) Centre–Local Relations in the Stalinist State, 1928–1941 (Basingstoke, 2002), pp. 58–9. 46. John Barber, ‘The Image of Stalin in Soviet Propaganda and Public Opinion during World War 2’ in John Garrard and Carol Garrard (eds) World War 2 and the Soviet People (New York, 1993), pp. 38–49. 47. This is vividly captured in the picture of Stalin offering his toast to the ‘Great Russian people’ in the picture by Mikhail Khmelko, To the Great Russian People.

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