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The Popes Against the Jews

The Vatican's Role in the Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism

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Paperback published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
In this meticulously researched, unflinching, and reasoned study, National Book Award finalist David I. Kertzer presents shocking revelations about the role played by the Vatican in the development of modern anti-Semitism. Working in long-sealed Vatican archives, Kertzer unearths startling evidence to undermine the Church’s argument that it played no direct role in the spread of modern anti-Semitism. In doing so, he challenges the Vatican’s recent official statement on the subject, We Remember. Kertzer tells an unsettling story that has stirred up controversy around the world and sheds a much-needed light on the past.
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In this meticulously researched, unflinching, and reasoned study, National Book Award finalist David I. Kertzer presents shocking revelations about the role played by the Vatican in the development of modern anti-Semitism. Working in long-sealed Vatican archives, Kertzer unearths startling evidence to undermine the Church’s argument that it played no direct role in the spread of modern anti-Semitism. In doing so, he challenges the Vatican’s recent official statement on the subject, We Remember. Kertzer tells an unsettling story that has stirred up controversy around the world and sheds a much-needed light on the past.
Product Details
Paperback (368 pages)
Published: September 24, 2002
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9780375706059
Other books byDavid I. Kertzer
  • Prisoner of the Vatican

    Prisoner of the Vatican
    The Popes' Secret Plot to Capture Rome from the...
    Based on a wealth of documents long buried in the Vatican archives, Prisoner of the Vatican tells the story of the Church's secret attempt to block the unification of Italy and seize control - not in ancient times, but in the late nineteenth century. For more than fifty years, the pope was a self-imposed prisoner within the Vatican walls, planning to flee Italy, to return only as the restored ruler of Rome and the Papal States. The scheme to dismantle the newborn Italian nation involved not only the cardinals and the Curia but also attempts to exploit the rivalries among France, Germany, Austria, Spain, and England.

    The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara

    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.

    Prisoner of the Vatican

    Prisoner of the Vatican
    The Popes, the Kings, and Garibaldi's Rebels in...
    Praise for David Kertzer and Prisoner of the Vatican: "Kertzer once again proves himself a truly compelling historian." -- André Aciman "Prisoner of the Vatican reads like exciting fiction. And it has astounding contemporary relevance." -- Alfred Uhry "Kertzer’s careful scholarship and lucid writing make the human character of this religious institution quite clear." -- James Carroll "Fascinating." -- Entertainment Weekly "Lively . . . filled with telling anecdotes and colorful descriptions of the various characters involved in the struggle." -- America, the National Catholic Weekly "Riveting and fast-paced . . . history writing at its best." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review "[A] rousing tale . . . from a masterful, controversial scholar." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review "A chilling and timely warning of what happens when religious power becomes synonymous with political power. If you love Italy, if you love Rome, this book is essential reading." -- John Guare "As magically spellbinding as it is enlightening, replete with colorful characters and complex international and ecclesiastical politics and intrigue. Kertzer is a national treasure and his latest book another masterpiece." -- Kevin Madigan, associate professor, Harvard Divinity School "This book is a gift to everyone who welcomes the emergence of buried history, and a boon to anyone who has ever wondered about the origins of the wonderful, tenuously unified place called modern Italy." -- Tracy Kidder David Kertzer’s absorbing history presents an astonishing account of the birth of modern Italy and the clandestine politics behind the Vatican’s last stand in the battle between church and the newly created Italian state. Drawing on a wealth of secret documents long buried in the Vatican archives, Kertzer reveals a fascinating story of outrageous accusations, mutual denunciations, raucous demonstrations, and secret dealings. When Italy’s armies seized the Holy City and claimed it for the Italian capital, Pope Pius IX, outraged, retreated to the Vatican and declared himself a prisoner, calling on foreign powers to force the Italians out of Rome. The action set in motion decades of political intrigues that hinged on such fascinating characters as Garibaldi, King Viktor Emmanuel, Napoleon III, and Chancellor Bismarck. No one who reads this eye-opening book will ever think of Italy, or the Vatican, in quite the same way again. "A gripping account of this little-known story." -- Washington Post “A suspenseful and even captivating read . . . Kertzer illuminates one of history’s darker corners.” -- Providence Journal "Extraordinary . . . Kertzer describes intrigue, spying, disinformation, and public relations campaigns worthy of any contemporary spy novel." -- Seattle Times David I. Kertzer is author of several illuminating works of history, including The Popes Against the Jews and The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, a National Book Award finalist. A professor of anthropology and Italian studies at Brown University, he lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

    Old Demons, New Debates

    Old Demons, New Debates
    Anti-Semitism in the West
    This book offers a provocative new view of the recent upsurge of anti-Semitism in the West. The authors -- including both well-known public intellectuals and major scholars -- address themselves to a broad audience. They describe the new anti-Semitism and show how it draws on older forms of Jew hatred while being fuelled by both anti -Americanism and anti-Zionism. Special attention is paid to the situation in Europe -- with a particular emphasis on France and Britain -- and the United States. As the authors show, the new anti-Semitism, far from being the exclusive province of the ignorant and unlettered, is nourished by intellectuals and elites. Is anti-Semitism really no longer a danger? Or are the demons back? OLD DEMONS is sure to trigger heated new debates on this crucial issue.

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  • (Introduction): Edward Cardinal Cassidy, Australian head of the Vatican's Commission for Religioous Relations with the Jews, called in reporters to announce the long-awaited results of...

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  • The history of the Vatican's dealings with the Jews over the past two centuries could well have followed a different path.

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  • Only a handful would leave there alive.

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