- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books; First Trade Paper ed edition (11 Oct. 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0465092705
- ISBN-13: 978-0465092703
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,354,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Letters to a Young Catholic Paperback – 11 Oct 2005
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"An engaging, lucid, and informative introduction to the teachings and traditions of Catholicism." -Wall Street Journal --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
George Weigel, a Roman Catholic theologian and one of America's leading commentators on religion and public life, is the author of the acclaimed The Courage to Be Catholic, the international bestseller,Witness to Hope: The Biography of John Paul II, and numerous other books that include The Truth of Catholicism and The Final Revolution. Now a Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., where he holds the John M. Olin Chair in Religion and American Democracy, Weigel writes a weekly column, "The Catholic Difference," that is syndicated to more than forty newspapers around the United States. He is an NBC consultant on the Vatican and appears regularly on network and cable television programs as well as national and local radio. Weigel lives with his wife and their three children in North Bethesda, Maryland.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
Each chapter or "letter" in the book is based a location and topic relevant to Christians, Catholic, and really anyone alive today. You don't have to be a young Catholic, or even a Catholic at all to appreciate this book. A bit highbrow sometimes, but never dull. History, religion, current events all in one book.
Weigel presents the book as mentoring advice to young Catholics, guiding them through a tour of locations and offering reflections on history and leading Catholic figures. There are excellent portraits and thoughts on a whole host of figures ranging from St. Peter to G.K. Chesterton.
But Weigel continuously hedges his bets with his audience. Sometimes, he directly addresses the young Catholic he is writing to and, frankly, more often than not, it doesn't work. For example, I suspect few young Catholic readers have watched BBC miniseries from the 1970s and early 1980s. That doesn't stop Weigel from making strange and often asinine references to the likes of "I Claudius" and "Brideshead Revisited." Weigel often seems to misread younger generations, insisting that most pundits call they cynical and unwilling to take part in public affairs. I got the feeling he was writing more for Generation X than Gen Y or Millenials even though the book was first published in 2004. This unfortunately undermines part of the book and I suspect it will lead to some young readers dropping off. With fewer young Americans choosing to enter the Catholic vocations, I was hoping Weigel would offer a more convincing case towards younger readers who are contemplating such a step.
"Letters to a Young Catholic" is a solid book and I would cheerfully recommend it to some readers--but I think Weigel undermined part of his case with his strange tone. Not a bad book by any means but Weigel could have had a home run here and seemed to have settled for a double.