Item description for Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II by George Weigel...
Overview An authoritative chronicle of Pope John Paul II's life draws from comprehensive research and unusual access to the Pope and his associates to offer previously unknown information about his connections to historical events.
The Definitive Biography of Pope John Paul II
Witness to Hope is the authoritative biography of one of the singular figures -- some might argue the singular figure -- of our time. With unprecedented cooperation from John Paul II and the people who knew and worked with him throughout his life, George Weigel offers a groundbreaking portrait of the Pope as a man, a thinker, and a leader whose religious convictions defined a new approach to world politics -- and changed the course of history. As even his critics concede, John Paul II occupied a unique place on the world stage and put down intellectual markers that no one could ignore or avoid as humanity entered a new millennium fraught with possibility and danger.
The Pope was a man of prodigious energy who played a crucial yet insufficiently explored role in some of the most momentous events of our time, including the collapse of European communism, the quest for peace in the Middle East, and the democratic transformation of Latin America. This updated edition of Witness to Hope explains how this "man from a far country" did all of that, and much more -- and what both his accomplishments and the unfinished business of his pontificate mean for the future of the Church and the world.
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GEORGE WEIGEL, Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington's Ethics and Public Policy Center, is a Catholic theologian and one of America's foremost commentators on issues of religion and public life. A Newsweek contributor and Vatican analyst for NBC News, Weigel is the author of fifteen books, including the New York Times bestseller Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II. His work has been translated into more than a dozen languages.
From the Hardcover edition.
George Weigel currently resides in Bethesda, in the state of Maryland. George Weigel was born in 1951 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington, DC the Ethics and Public.
George Weigel has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II?
The classic bio of one of our greatest modern leaders Mar 27, 2007
This book is simply superb. It is very long, but the length is justified by the importance of the material and the quality of its handling. Wiegel gives you a long, slow build which describes in great detail every aspect of John Paul II's life. He balances the different aspects of his material extremely well; he will jump from a description of personal events, for example, to a detailed discussion of a philosophic or theological point, but he does so in a way that is easy to read and easy to follow.
This book assumes very little knowledge on the part of the reader, but it conveys a tremendous amount of knowledge. This is a great service, because most of us know very little, for example, about early 20th century Polish culture, yet it is critical to understand this to understand John Paul II. In the same way, there are many subjects which you have to understand to understand John Paul II and Wiegel does a great job of explaining the basics of each, from 20th century philosophy to Eastern European communist politics, and from the political and theological leanings of the Amercan Church to the cult of Mary.
Too much of the time we get bios by writers who know nothing about their subject's areas of activitiy. We get, for example, bios of Napoleon by writers who know nothing about military affairs. We get bios of Plato by people with little understanding of philosophy.
This is not one of those books. Wiegel has made himself the master of all of the subjects needed to understand this amazing man. This book will take you a long time to read, but it is all time well spent.
Superior in every way Jan 29, 2007
Its not often that one reads a truly great book, a book that is well-written,informative,moving, and inspiring. This book is such a book. While to some this book might be dauntingly long, it well worth the time and is really not a difficult read. I learned a lot about the papacy and pre-papacy life of John Paul the Great. The author does an outstanding job of capturing the spirit and spirituality of this great man. At the same time, this is not a book that paints an unrealistic portrait of history. It is so gratifying to read a book by an author that is obviously extremely well informed about his subject matter and passionate about it as well. I recommend this book to everyone, Catholic or no. I especially recommend this book to anyone interested in the historical truth about secularism/Nazism/Communism.
The Hope of Changing the Culture Jan 7, 2007
A few years ago, I had the pleasure to meet George Weigel. During a Q & A with his audience, I asked about the oft quoted description in Witness to Hope of John Paul II's Theology of the Body (i.e., a "theological time-bomb set to go off with dramatic consequences...perhaps in the twenty-first century."). Of the hundreds of thousands of words in his book, Weigel playfully wondered what it is about that "munitions" wording that leads to such inquiries. Simply put, George, it is a wonderful line!
From what I observe, Catholics do seem to be waking up to the Theology of the Body. Much, much credit is owed to Christopher West, Jason Evert, and others for making the Theology of the Body more accessible. As John Paul II helped do for Poland in the years before the collapse of Communism, we are seeing some first glimpses of leadership for cultural change.
To a world ravaged by Naziism & then Communism, John Paul II was an incredible Witness to Hope. Weigel's work is magnificent and inspiring.
excellent read Jun 22, 2006
great insight into the struggles and life of this amazing man! you will walk away with a profound respect for him, even if you didn't like him to begin with.
The best biography of John Paul II Jun 1, 2006
I am fortunate enough to have met the author, George Weigel, in Toronto in 2002.
He said a couple things that you might enjoy...
1. John Paul II himself had re-read this biography a few times in an effort to remember his early life. What a compliment!
2. Poland resisted the totalitarian nature of communism and nazism due its "Catholic culture" centered on the love of Christ and a deep concern for the human person that stems from a strong belief in Christ.
3. One of the pope's regrets was his inability to bring complete unity to the Eastern orthodox church and the western Roman Catholic Church. (Although he did start the process.)
This book inspires everyone who reads it. I have listened to the audio version of this book and it is fabulous.
I have also watched the video which is based on this book but does not get into the great detail of the audio and written books.
If you are looking to truly understand the mind of one of the most important figures of the 20th century and/or perhaps a saint, and/or perhaps one of the greatest popes of the Catholic Church then this book will not dissappoint.
The world will remember this man and pope for thousands of years. His "theology of the body," the Divine Mercy, the new Catechism of Catholic church, the Luminous Mysteries of the rosary, his numerous encyclicals and writings will echo for generations and inspire countless millions to serve the same Christ that he served. He will be known as Saint John Paul the Great.