A Twentieth-Century Crusade: The Vatican's Battle to Remake Christian Europe


Product Details

Harvard University Press
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.3 X 1.4 inches | 1.8 pounds

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About the Author

Giuliana Chamedes is Assistant Professor of History and a faculty affiliate of the Religious Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During a stint as a journalist for ANSA, the Italian news agency based in Rome, she had the opportunity to observe the Vatican closely, and she returned as a scholar to probe its archives.


This important book reveals the unknown story of the Vatican's efforts to reshape international relations in the twentieth century. Facing new competition from secularism, liberalism, and communism, the Church responded with an international program of its own: 'concordat diplomacy.' In recovering this lost history, Chamedes sheds new light on seemingly familiar terrain and enhances our understanding of a complicated past that continues to resonate today.--Andrew Preston, author of Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy
This is transnational history at its best. In this impressively researched book, Giuliana Chamedes reaches into all corners of the European continent as she brings forth the crucial role of the Vatican and its particular brand of internationalism in Europe's tumultuous twentieth century. It is essential reading for those interested in modern Europe and in religion.--Elizabeth Foster, author of African Catholic
Chamedes offers a pathbreaking study of twentieth-century Catholic internationalism and papal diplomacy that illuminates a vast terrain of hitherto unknown transnational activity. Her book is not just an eye-opening addition to the literature on internationalism, it reframes our understanding of twentieth-century modernity. An essential contribution.--Adam Tooze, author of Crashed
Fascinating...A work of tremendous ambitions and impressive panoramic scope. Beautifully written and thoroughly researched, it charts one of the 20th century's most far-reaching cultural-political projects, which stretched over dozens of countries and unfolded over decades...What Chamedes has superbly charted is the world that [Pope] Francis has set to demolish. How his alternative will fare, and whether it will succeed where his predecessors had failed, is still to be seen.-- (06/17/2019)
Readers seeking backstories for the Vatican agreements that legitimated Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany will not be disappointed. Nor will students wrestling with how to place the Vatican within the global history of the twentieth century...Part intellectual history, part history of the international system, part collective biography.-- (10/08/2019)
Eye-opening...Zealous hostility to communism and socialism led the church into legal alliance with right-wing reactionaries...This fascinating book highlights that the church's present is always in dialogue with its past.--Christopher Kissane"Irish Times" (08/14/2019)
This comprehensive study provides a broad perspective on 20th-century papal diplomacy's crusade to sustain Catholic influence in European society.--Choice (11/01/2019)