Add this book to bookshelf
Grey 902feb64d8b6d481ab8ddda06fbebbba4c95dfa9b7936a7beeb197266cd8b846
Write a new comment Default profile 50px
Grey 902feb64d8b6d481ab8ddda06fbebbba4c95dfa9b7936a7beeb197266cd8b846
Spinner ae25b23ec1304e55286f349b58b08b50e88aad5748913a7eb729246ffefa31c9
The Universal Father - A Life of John Paul II - cover

The Universal Father - A Life of John Paul II

Garry O'Connor

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0

Summary

Pope John Paul II is universally considered one of the great leaders of the twentieth century for his resolute resistance to Soviet Communism, for his steadfast opposition to war, and for opening up the papacy to ordinary people. He will go down in history not only as the third longest-serving pope, but possibly the most politically influential of all 305 popes and antipopes since St. Peter.  
Born in Poland in 1920, Karol Wojtyla's early life experiences were of intense love and intense loss: he was eight when his mother died, twelve when his older brother died of scarlet fever, and twenty when his severe but loving father died during the Nazi occupation. An athlete, a gifted poet, playwright and actor, by 1944, after a near fatal accident, Wojtyla was studying for the priesthood in secret. So began a lifelong quest to understand good and evil in the human heart.  
Five years in the making, Universal Father is a vivid and scrupulously researched portrait of this extraordinary man. Beginning with Wojtyla's trying childhood and his early years as a priest in rural Poland, and continuing on to his travels to Rome, and his subsequent papal reign, O'Connor's biography is unparalleled for the attention it also gives to the inner man-including a subtle analysis of the pope's own poems, plays, and philosophical works. An exploration of both the personal tragedies in the pope's life, among them the assassination attempt in 1981, and the public triumphs, such as the great public confrontations with Soviet Communism in his native Poland, Universal Father is a revealing and profoundly moving testament.

Who read this book also read:

  • Be the Worst You Can Be - Life's Too Long for Patience and Virtue - cover

    Be the Worst You Can Be - Life's...

    Charles Satchi

    • 0
    • 1
    • 0
    Charles Saatchi founded the Saatchi & Saatchi advertising agency in 1970, which grew to become the largest of its kind in the world. At the same time he started collecting art and, later, opened his first gallery in London. He championed young British artists, such as Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst, and became a major figure on the international art scene. For someone so influential, he's surprisingly quiet. Charles Saatchi almost never gives interviews. However, he's a man with a view on everything - from movies to morals, superstition to suicide - and in this fascinating new book he answers nearly 300 questions from readers and journalists. What is the most valuable life lesson you can offer? Are you a believer that good is the enemy of great? What is more powerful - money or knowledge? How would you describe yourself if you did not have art in your life? How many of the seven deadly sins are you guilty of? This is the definitive read for those in search of answers.
    Show book
  • IraqiGirl: Diary of a Teenage Girl in Iraq - cover

    IraqiGirl: Diary of a Teenage...

    IraqiGirl

    • 0
    • 1
    • 0
    I feel that I have been sleeping all my life and I have woken up and opened my eyes to the world. A beautiful world! But impossible to live in. 
    These are the words of fifteen-year-old Hadiya, blogging from the city of Mosul, Iraq, to let the world know what life is really like as the military occupation of her country unfolds. In many ways, her life is familiar. She worries about exams and enjoys watching Friends during the rare hours that the electricity in her neighborhood is running. 
    But the horrors of war surround her everywhere—weeklong curfews, relatives killed, and  friends whose families are forced to flee their homes. With black humor and unflinching honesty, Hadiya shares the painful stories of lives changed forever. “Let’s go back,” she writes, “to my un-normal life.” 
    With her intimate reflections on family, friendship, and community, IraqiGirl also allows us to witness the determination of one girl not only to survive, but to create, amidst the  devastation of war, a future worth living for. 
    "Hadiya's authentically teenage voice, emotional struggles and concerns make her story all the more resonant." —Publishers Weekly 
    “Despite all the news coverage about the war in Iraq, very little is reported about how it affects the daily lives of ordinary citizens. A highschooler in the city of Mosul fills in the gap with this compilation of her blog posts about living under U.S. occupation. She writes in English because she wants to reach Americans, and in stark specifics, she records the terrifying dangers of car bombs on her street and American warplanes overhead, as well as her everyday struggles to concentrate on homework when there is no water and electricity at home. Her tone is balanced: she does not hate Americans, and although she never supported Saddam Hussein, she wonders why he was executed... Readers will appreciate the details about family, friends, school, and reading Harry Potter, as well as the  ever-present big issues for which there are no simple answers." —Hazel Rochman, Booklist 
    “IraqiGirl has poured reflections of her daily life into her blog, reaching all over the  cyber-world from her home in northern Iraq. She writes about the universals of teen life—school, family, TV, food, Harry Potter—but always against the background of sudden explosions, outbursts of gunfire, carbombs, death.… [A]n important addition to multicultural literature.” —Elsa Marston, author of Santa Claus in Baghdad and Other Stories About Teens in the Arab World 
    “A book as relevant to adults as teenagers and children. Hadiya’s clear, simple language conveys the feelings of a teenager, offering a glimpse into the daily life of a professional middle-class Iraqi family in an ancient-modern city subjected to a brutal occupation.”—Haifa Zangana, author of City of Widows: An Iraqi Woman's Account of War and Resistance
    Show book
  • Brief Candle in the Dark - My Life in Science - cover

    Brief Candle in the Dark - My...

    Richard Dawkins

    • 0
    • 6
    • 0
    In this hugely entertaining sequel to the New York Times bestselling memoir An Appetite for Wonder, Richard Dawkins delves deeply into his intellectual life spent kick-starting new conversations about science, culture, and religion and writing yet another of the most audacious and widely read books of the twentieth century—The God Delusion. 
    Called “one of the best nonfiction writers alive today” (Stephen Pinker) and a “prize-fighter” (Nature), Richard Dawkins cheerfully, mischievously, looks back on a lifetime of tireless intellectual adventure and engagement. Exploring the halls of intellectual inquiry and stardom he encountered after the publication of his seminal work, The Selfish Gene; affectionately lampooning the world of academia, publishing, and television; and studding the pages with funny stories about the great men and women he’s known, Dawkins offers a candid look at the events and ideas that encouraged him to shift his attention to the intersection of culture, religion, and science. He also invites the reader to look more closely at the brilliant succession of ten influential books that grew naturally out of his busy life, highlighting the ideas that connect them and excavating their origins. 
    On the publication of his tenth book, the smash hit, The God Delusion, a “resounding trumpet blast for truth” (Matt Ridley), Richard Dawkins was catapulted from mere intellectual stardom into a circle of celebrity thinkers dubbed, “The New Atheists”—including Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett. 
    Throughout A Brief Candle in the Dark, Dawkins shares with us his infectious sense of wonder at the natural world, his enjoyment of the absurdities of human interaction, and his bracing awareness of life’s brevity: all of which have made a deep imprint on our culture.
    Show book
  • As Bad as They Say? - Three Decades of Teaching in the Bronx - cover

    As Bad as They Say? - Three...

    Janet Mayer

    • 0
    • 1
    • 0
    Rundown, vermin-infested buildings. Rigid, slow-to-react bureaucratic systems. Children from broken homes and declining communities. How can a teacher succeed? How does a student not only survive but also come to thrive? It can happen, and As Bad as They Say? tells the heroic stories of Janet Mayer’s students during her 33-year tenure as a Bronx high school teacher.
    
    In 1995, Janet Mayer’s students began a pen-pal exchange with South African teenagers who, under apartheid, had been denied an education; almost uniformly, the South Africans asked, “Is the Bronx as bad as they say?” This dedicated teacher promised those students and all future ones that she would write a book to help change the stereotypical image of Bronx students and show that, in spite of overwhelming obstacles, they are outstanding young people, capable of the highest achievements.
    
    She walks the reader through the decrepit school building, describing in graphic detail the deplorable physical conditions that students and faculty navigate daily. Then, in eight chapters we meet eight amazing young people, a small sample of the more than 14,000 students the writer has felt honored to teach.
    
    She describes her own Bronx roots and the powerful influences that made her such a determined teacher. Finally, the veteran teacher sounds the alarm to stop the corruption and degradation of public education in the guise of what are euphemistically labeled “reforms” (No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top). She also expresses optimism that public education and our democracy can still be saved, urgently calling on all to become involved and help save our schools.
    Show book
  • Understanding Susan Sontag - cover

    Understanding Susan Sontag

    Carl Rollyson

    • 0
    • 1
    • 0
    With the publication of Susan Sontag's diaries, the development of her career can now be evaluated in a more genetic sense, so that the origins of her ideas and plans for publication are made plain in the context of her role as a public intellectual, who is increasingly aware of her impact on her culture. In Understanding Susan Sontag, Carl Rollyson not only provides an introduction to her essays, novels, plays, films, diaries, and uncollected work published in various periodicals, he now has a lens through which to reevaluate classic texts such as Against Interpretation and On Photography, providing both students and advanced scholars a renewed sense of her importance and impact.
    
    Rollyson devotes separate chapters to Sontag’s biography; her early novels; her landmark essay collections Against Interpretation and Styles of Radical Will; her films; her major mid-career books, On Photography and its sequel, Regarding the Pain of Others; and Illness as Metaphor and its sequel, AIDS and Its Metaphors, together with her groundbreaking short story, “The Way We Live Now.”  Sontag’s later essay collections and biographical profiles, collected in Under the Sign of Saturn, Where the Stress Falls, and At The Same Time: Essays and Speeches, also receive a fresh assessment, as does her later work in short fiction, the novel, and drama, with a chapter discussing I, etcetera; two historical novels, The Volcano Lover and In America; and her plays, A Parsifal, Alice in Bed, and her adaptation of Ibsen's The Lady from the Sea. Chapters on her diaries and uncollected prose, along with a primary and secondary bibliography, complete this comprehensive study.
    Show book
  • Turning Right at Hollywood and Vine - The Perils of Coming Out Conservative in Tinseltown - cover

    Turning Right at Hollywood and...

    Roger L. Simon

    • 0
    • 1
    • 0
    An Academy Award–nominated screenwriter and a mystery novelist, Roger L. Simon is the only American writer to pull off the amazing trick of being profiled positively in both Mother Jones and National Review in one lifetime. The stunning story of his political odyssey is told in this memoir, where Simon recounts his migration from financier of the Black Panther Breakfast Program to pioneer blogosphere mogul beloved by the right as a 9/11 Democrat.But Simon is beholden to neither right nor left in this tale of Hollywood chic run amuck, as he talks out of school about his adventures with, among many others, Richard Pryor, Warren Beatty, Timothy Leary, Richard Dreyfuss, Woody Allen, and Julian Semyonov, the Soviet Union’s version of Robert Ludlum and also a KGB colonel who tempted Simon to join the KGB himself. Among the topics covered along the way:Is there a new blacklist in Hollywood, this one targeting conservatives?Simon’s red-carpet tours of the People’s Republic of China, Cuba, and the Soviet Union with Hollywood screenwriters and famous mystery novelists.Why Al Gore’s documentary on global warming didn’t deserve the Oscar on artistic grounds alone; and why the Academy’s voting system is so corrupt.And, as they say, there is much, much more besides.
    Show book