Customer Reviews for

Absolute Monarchs: A History of the Papacy

Average Rating 3.5
( 40 )
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5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(15)

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(2)

2 Star

(5)

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(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

22 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

It's fun-story, not history.

If your expecting even a semi-scholarly look at the entire history of the papacy in one short book for $15.99, your going to need to keep looking. If your expecting attacks on your faith from the mainstream media, you can find confirmation of your expectations here. If ...
If your expecting even a semi-scholarly look at the entire history of the papacy in one short book for $15.99, your going to need to keep looking. If your expecting attacks on your faith from the mainstream media, you can find confirmation of your expectations here. If your looking for a short fun look at the papacy, this book delivers! It's an enjoyable read and it's mostly accurate. If this book were to peak your interest in the relationship between the catholic church and nazi Germany great, start researching, but this isn't the book on which to base your doctoral thesis. Relax and enjoy this light read. I did.

posted by Hamlet007WI on July 16, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

23 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

Debris with a Cliched Cover

Unfortunately, this is the type of debris that gets published and praised as history. The lack of scholarship and cliched thinking is an affront to historians, and true scholars. The entire book lacks critical thought, and insight into the "origins" of power that create...
Unfortunately, this is the type of debris that gets published and praised as history. The lack of scholarship and cliched thinking is an affront to historians, and true scholars. The entire book lacks critical thought, and insight into the "origins" of power that created the Papacy. This book has as much value as a "Historical" treatise of the Anglican Church and English Monarchy written by Idi Amin. Don't waste your time or money as you can read the same stories for FREE on many internet sites.

posted by 7643822 on July 14, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2011

    Debris with a Cliched Cover

    Unfortunately, this is the type of debris that gets published and praised as history. The lack of scholarship and cliched thinking is an affront to historians, and true scholars. The entire book lacks critical thought, and insight into the "origins" of power that created the Papacy. This book has as much value as a "Historical" treatise of the Anglican Church and English Monarchy written by Idi Amin. Don't waste your time or money as you can read the same stories for FREE on many internet sites.

    23 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 16, 2011

    It's fun-story, not history.

    If your expecting even a semi-scholarly look at the entire history of the papacy in one short book for $15.99, your going to need to keep looking. If your expecting attacks on your faith from the mainstream media, you can find confirmation of your expectations here. If your looking for a short fun look at the papacy, this book delivers! It's an enjoyable read and it's mostly accurate. If this book were to peak your interest in the relationship between the catholic church and nazi Germany great, start researching, but this isn't the book on which to base your doctoral thesis. Relax and enjoy this light read. I did.

    22 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2011

    An interesting book...check it out

    I simply can't fathom the vitriol of some of the reviews here. The author states on page 2 that he's not a historian but a raconteur of a tale that's 2000 years old and packed with wise men, schemers and sinners. Perhaps his personal admission that he's an agnostic Protestant has something to do such umbrage over the writer here. But as near as I can tell, his recounting of the story is based on fact. He even carefully notes when a tale is unsubstantiated. His review of any religious issue is centered only as to how it affected the growth of the papacy as a political and state power. He takes no position on the Arian heresy or the Albigensian debacle led by the French king (with the muted approval of the Pope in Avignon) as a spiritual matter. He emphasizes that this is history...and sometimes history (such as the crusades) is very, very messy.

    No, he does not go on and on about every Pope. No, he does not notate every source, but to do so only would bog down the average viewer looking for a good read and lead to an overly complex and dull tome that no one but a person writing a doctoral thesis would find illuminating.

    I found his discussion on whether or not Peter visited Rome (and the topic of his martyrdom there) to be highly lucid, well-balanced, and lively. Though I'm sure some would find his jab at Pius XII as an anti-Semite to be a bit harsh, that kind of sentiment is not unprecedented among biographers today and various historians. Indeed it is part of the problem being faced by the Church now as it works to beatify the Pope.

    Look, if you're looking for an academic book or something that glosses over any flaws in the institution, you'd better look somewhere else. But I majored in History, have taught it myself, am an admirer of the Papacy, and find the book (and the expense of nearly $25) to be a good value. That's pretty much it. If your faith can be so severely shaken by one book that shows two sides of an issue, maybe you should've either read a page or two while standing in line in the store's Starbucks, or bothered to review a page or two online (there's plenty of places to do so). But don't act shocked when the author delivers exactly what he said he'd do. Seriously, that's just nuts.

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 10, 2011

    Not recommended

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2012

    It's a great read on the history behind the papacy. A devout Ca

    It's a great read on the history behind the papacy. A devout Catholic would probably be upset to hear about murder, mayhem, mistresses and malice. But it happened (happens) in all religions. The author is just giving the highlights and cannot document every fact. As a history buff I was very intrigued when I visited Vatican City. Now I have a greater feel for the church and the papacy. When I was in Rome, our guide was a professor of archaeology in Rome who is the head of the commission that licenses all other guides in Rome. Many of her stories were similar or the same as related in the book. Read this book with an open mind knowing that no author even one approved by the church can get all of the facts 100% correct just as witnesses to a car crash or murder in modern times cannot be 100% sure of what happened. Just enjoy the tale.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Keep It With You

    The Holy Spirit, I was taught, entered the conclave of cardinals to ensure that a man of God's Choice would become a pope. Little did I realize that the Holy Spirit was absent more often than not. It a sad history, one hidden from most Catholics, It seems that Holy Pontiff worked part time. With this background, one can seem to discern what works in a pope, and what desn't.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2011

    Skip this one...

    I agree with another reviewer, this book laks critical thought. It reads like an enormous bulleted list. The numbing number of events which make up the history of the papacy are strung together like a high school term paper without the least bit of cohesive narrative.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Don't waste your brain cells, a cartoon

    This morning I saw the author's interview on Morning Joe. The story is a caricature of 2000 years. Pope JP XXIII is called one good Pope out of 250. The context is: the world has survived the Papacy. It's history if you call it history. I await his treatment of the American presidency.

    3 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Innacurate

    This book an example of poor schoarship and is replete with errors. By his own adumission he is not a historian. He obviously has not read or has failed to include any facts and objective data that do not agree with his distorted opinion. He has essentially reinterprated history according to his blatant bias.

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2011

    Boring

    Very boring.

    2 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2012

    Highly recommended

    Excellent overview of the papacy for a neophyte reader of history.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2012

    A good read

    This book is well done, and the author has made an otherwise dry subject into an easily redible book. It takes a while to get used to all the names and titles, that must be covered in a work such as this. A few more maps would have been helpful to keep the various political divisions straight. The pictures of selected Popes at the end added a lot to the story. Perhaps they should have been inserted when the lives of each were covered. Overall, a very interesting work that I would recommend for anyone interested in the subject.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted December 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted September 11, 2011

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    Posted August 6, 2011

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    Posted May 2, 2013

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    Posted July 31, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

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    Posted August 10, 2011

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