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Behind Locked Doors: A History of the Papal Elections Paperback – 12 Apr 2005
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'Frederic Baumgartner's book is well balanced, both in its wide sweep of centuries and in fairness to individuals, be they popes, cardinals or monarchs...this history will give us an understanding of the evolution of the world's oldest elected institution. It should be made required reading for the college of cardinals, and perhaps presented to a new Eminence with his red hat.' - Richard Mullen, Catholic Herald
'There is something irresistibly exciting about a papal election - but reading this fascinating and scholarly account of elections over 200 years, it seems the forthcoming conclave will be one of the dullest in history...The use of white smoke, along with the strict secrecy, Baumgartner shows, is an innovation scarcely more than 100 years old. But the process is still a fascinating one, as this readable, very well researched and interesting book proves.' - David McLaurin, Church Times
'It's surely no surprise that a history of papal elections is largely a history of bad behaviour: self aggrandisement, corruption, bribery, nepotism, greed and cynical manipulation.' - Barney Zwartz, The Age
About the Author
FREDERIC J. BAUMGARTNER is Professor of History at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg. He is the author of many books including Louis XII, France in the Sixteenth Century and Longing for the End.
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