Pope John Paul II was one of the pivotal figures of the last century, the spiritual head of more than one billion believers and a world statesman of immense stature and influence. Yet he remains a mystery - theologically, politically, and personally. Through unprecedented access to both the Pope himself and those close to him, veteran New York Times correspondent and award-winning author Tad Szulc delivers the definitive biography of John Paul II. This strikingly intimate portrait highlights the Polishness that shaped the Pope's mysticism and pragmatism, while providing a behind-the-scenes look at the significant events of his public and private life, including: the inside story of the negotiations involving John Paul II, Soviet President Gorbachev and General Jaruzelski of Poland that led to Poland's and Eastern Europe's transition from communism to democracy; John Paul II's secret diplomacy, which resulted in the establishment of relations between the Holy See and Israel; the never-before-told story of how the Polish communist regime helped to 'make' Karol Wojtyla an archbishop, the key step on his road to the papacy.
Fascinating and thought-provoking, this biography of Pope John Paul II is vital reading not only for Roman Catholics, but for anyone interested in one of the most important figures of our time.
The late Tad Szulc was a foreign and Washington correspondent for The New York Times who covered major news stories on four continents and was the author of eighteen books, including the landmark Fidel, a biography of Castro; Then and Now: How the World Has Changed Since World War II; and The Illusion of Peace, all of which have won Overseas Press Club Awards for the Best Book on Foreign Affairs. He was Knight of the French Order of the Legion of Honor and a recipient of Columbia University's Maria Moors Cabot Gold Medal. He died in 2001.
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