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Pontiff (Panther Books) Paperback – 11 Oct 1984


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Product details

  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd; New edition edition (11 Oct. 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0586056629
  • ISBN-13: 978-0586056622
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 11.2 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 213,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Pontiff

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback
Published in 1983, this work was a blockbuster in the mid 1980s. Not only is the book an absorbing read but the authors were correct and prescient in their expectations & predictions of the momentous pontificate of John Paul II. The significance of this pope who, together with Thatcher & Reagan, was responsible for the collapse of communism, is brilliantly explored in The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister by John O'Sullivan.

The introduction provides a brief background on the history of the Papacy which is followed by a short chapter on the terrorist Mehmet Ali Agca, the Grey Wolves terror organization and the political violence in Turkey in the late 1970s.

Part I assesses the person and the pontificate of Pope Paul VI, and his sickness & death in 1978. He was the first Bishop of Rome to appoint many cardinals from outside Italy & Europe.

Part II includes a discussion of the fascinating processes & procedures of electing a pope. John Paul I was elected and lived for only 33 days. Then Karol Wojtyla was elected, the first Polish Pope, against the background of the beginning of the collapse of the Soviet Block. The rise of the Solidarity trade union in Poland was the first sign of the impending implosion of the evil empire.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's always good to see print books make it to the Kindle, but in this case it is obvious a quick OCR has been done with little attempt to fix any mistakes which may have occurred during the process. On almost every page there is a misplaced word and in some cases that word has altered the meaning of the sentence.

Poor formatting of the text-which has sentence clauses printed like this-can make the reading-occasionally-a frustrating if somewhat-well to myself anyway-an annoying experience.

Another criticism I would have over this book is the accuracy, the writer often picks up on his contemporaries use of "anonymous sources" to somehow make the point that they shouldn't be trusted, but this book offers no references, no suggestion of what is written down is based on a direct observation of an event, a second hand story or just a rumour.
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By Mrs. E. Christe on 30 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anything that Gordon Thomas writes is bound to be fantastic reading. I am a great fan of his
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By wendkerr on 9 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
The book arrived in good condition and is more than satisfactory. The book was sent on the 7th December but didn't arrive until the 31st. I realise this was not the fault of the sender but rather the weather conditions at the time.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Masterpiece and prophetic book 29 Jan. 2009
By Peter Uys - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Published in 1983, this work was a blockbuster in the mid 1980s. Not only is the book an absorbing read but the authors were correct and prescient in their expectations & predictions of the momentous pontificate of John Paul II. The significance of this pope who, together with Thatcher & Reagan, was responsible for the collapse of communism, is brilliantly explored in The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister by John O'Sullivan.

The introduction provides a brief background on the history of the Papacy which is followed by a short chapter on the terrorist Mehmet Ali Agca, the Grey Wolves terror organization and the political violence in Turkey in the late 1970s.

Part I assesses the person and the pontificate of Pope Paul VI, and his sickness & death in 1978. He was the first Bishop of Rome to appoint many cardinals from outside Italy & Europe.

Part II includes a discussion of the fascinating processes & procedures of electing a pope. John Paul I was elected and lived for only 33 days. Then Karol Wojtyla was elected, the first Polish Pope, against the background of the beginning of the collapse of the Soviet Block. The rise of the Solidarity trade union in Poland was the first sign of the impending implosion of the evil empire.

Part III reveals the involvement of the KGB and the Bulgarian Secret Service in the assassination attempt. But John Paul II survived, made a quick recovery and was instrumental in bringing freedom to his native Poland and to the whole of Eastern Europe.

The book contains a note on sources, notes on the text arranged by chapter, a bibliography and index.

Pontiff remains a most enjoyable read and illuminating work with its insights into the working of the Vatican, the conclaves of cardinals electing the pope, the personalities of the time like the liberal theologian Hans Küng and the reactionary Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. It is peopled by a colorful array of interesting characters like the influential figures of the time in the Roman Catholic Church, including cardinals Casaroli, Koenig, Cody, Felici and Bishop Marcinkus.

Of equal importance, it provides relevant information on the terrorist networks of the time and the co-operation between the KGB & Islamist terrorists. This book is highly recommended for the skillful way in which it reveals the history of the time, the developments that would lead to the implosion of the communist empire in the early 1990s, and the character of the greatest pope of the 20th century.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
one for your library 7 Aug. 2005
By brent howell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"Pontiff" is often listed as a biography of John Paul I. Yet, it is much more an attempt to explain his death rather than it is the record of his life. If one wants to learn about this good man's life I would suggest "Murder in the Vatican" by Lucien Gregoire which despite its title is much more about his life than it is about his death. In fact "Murder in the Vatican" is the only existing biography of John Paul I.

Pontiff has perhaps the most accurate record of the Great Vatican Bank Scandal.

I would read these books in order -Pontiff followed by Murder in the Vatican. Buy them as a pair.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Extremely compelling 23 Jan. 2000
By Schmerguls - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This work by two investigative reporters is extremely interesting and well-written. How accurate it is I do not know, but I know thatI found it to be extremely absorbing reading. E.g.: The authors say that Cardinal Benelli had 70 votes and if he had gotten 75 he would have elected Pope. Since Benelli died Oct. 25, 1982, if he had been elected the whole history of this latter part of the 20th century would have been different!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great read...flawed digitization 13 Oct. 2012
By TUS Bob - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a book I was happy to see made available in the Kindle store, as I'd read it before. I love that it's now digitized, but there was apparently no copy editing done, and some of the machine conversion of text is quite flawed. For example, about one third of the time, Pope Paul is "Pope Paid." Huh? Really? If Amazon were to fix the editing mistakes in the book, I'd give it four stars. Alas, as it is I'd only award two stars.
Shortfall 31 Dec. 2012
By David Chacko - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Pontiff is outdated in its take on Turkish politics and the background on the assassins who made up the Gray Wolves. As a result, the authors follow the line laid down with great ferocity by the CIA and its fellow agencies.

The sections that deal with the Vatican and the politics and ceremony surrounding Pope John Paul II are much better and investigated at more depth. That makes it a book not bad for its time, but falling short in ours.
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