Saturday, October 24, 2015

Mark Riebling "Church of Spies: the Pope's secret war against Hitler"

The Wikipedia page on Mark Riebling describes him as a "a U.S. historian, essayist, and policy analyst. He has written on national security, the history of ideas, and Vatican foreign policy during Cold War and Second World War. He is the author of two books Wedge: The Secret War between the FBI and CIA and Church of Spies: The Pope’s Secret War Against Hitler."



Mark contacted me some time ago and asked if he could send me an advance copy.  I very happily replied that I would enjoy reading his book.  Unfortunately, teaching commitments and the like have meant that I probably won't get to reading it much before the Christmas holidays in December! 

Reviews have been positive and with only a skim through notes and bibliography it appears that Riebling has done his homework thoroughly.  It matters little if at the end of my reading the work that I agree or disagree.  What does matter is that a conversation about the role of the Pope during the war has been examined from another angle and new insights have been offered.  This is the stuff of history and it is what historians do.

Some of the reviews that have appears on line in recent weeks are these:

Desmond O'Grady in the Australian Financial Review weekend edition.

Mark Oppenheim on History Net.

The Australian publisher's review on Scribe

Review on Kirkus.

And reader comments on Amazon.

There is an extract from the book on Salon.

I look forward to reading what looks likely to be both good history and a stimulating thriller.

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