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Sally J. Voorheis Brunner
5.0 out of 5 starsgreat condition
Reviewed in the United States on August 11, 2019
came in great condition, And the author packs this with plenty of interesting info. I was clueless on this period of history. The human condition is the same for those at the top, every one has an agenda! Great read.
The subtitle of this book is a bit misleading: there didn't appear to be a "secret plan" to recapture Rome from the new Italian state. Most of what happened was rather straightforward, and done by diplomatic means. In any event, this is an extremely interesting book about a little-known subject. Of course, everyone knows the basic story of the taking of Rome from the Pope by the new Italian state, but after that, nothing. This book very well fills in the knowledge gap by showing how the new state "bent over backwards" to try and mollify the Papal folks, only to be rebuffed at every turn. From the vantage of more than 125 years of Italian sovereignty over Rome, we can see how foolish the fears of the Pope actually were, but hindsight is the best sight. At the time, the Pope felt he was protecting the sovereignty and independence of the Papacy by having a temporal land under his control. This is fascinating history at its best, and I strongly recommend it!
5.0 out of 5 starsA Little Known Incident that Shaped the World
Reviewed in the United States on March 10, 2005
Hidden here and there within the history of the Roman Catholic church must be dozens, even hundreds of stories that would surpass the best fictional writing. Here is one of them.
We view Italy (and Germany for that matter) as countries, countries with a history going back for thousands of years. But this isn't true. These two countries came together as countries in the middle 1800's. Before that they were a loose collection of city states, small kingdoms I'd guess you call them.
This is one such story. Victor Emmanuel II, the king of an Italy finally united wanted to make Rome/The Vatican a part of Italy. The pope, at that time Pius IX, didn't recognize Emmanuel or for that matter Italy. Thus began this story.
The Pope retreated into the walls of the Vatican, and they remained at impasse until Mussolini finally came to an agreement that stands today where the church recognizes Italy, and Italy agreed that the Vatican was a soverign state.
This is a fascinating and little known story based on recently opened archives.
Now if the author could go back to the Vatican and get the archives on Galileo.
David Kertzer provides a detailed account of the Vatican's attempts to return the Pope to his temporal throne, reigning over the former Papal States, for many years following the successful unification of Italy. Exercising one of the very freedoms that the Vatican had vowed to suppress if returned to temporal power, Kertzer uses his freedom of expression to give us a fair, honest, and balanced treatment of events. His history does not come off as being anti-Catholic, but it deals (factually) with issues that others might wish to avoid in order not to appear being so. It is, therefore, a rich source, taking us behind the scenes to experience the very human side of the Vatican. If it is a rule that all governments engage in disinformation and spin, then David Kertzer shows us that the Vatican is no exception. He also reveals the tightrope that the new nation of Italy straddled in its first years, governing a people who were, for the most part, faithful Catholics who did not always know how to make distinctions between loyalty to faith and nation while also working with the rulers of other European nations whose citizens were struggling with those distinctions. One comes away we a new respect for those early leaders of Italy who held on when challenged from within and from without to their newfound freedom and newly founded republic. I highly recommend this and Kertzer's other books.