The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope

12 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 15½ hrs. Macmillan Audio. 2014. ISBN 9781427244277. $49.99; Playaway digital; digital download. BIOG
The 2013 election of Argentine cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to Pope of the Roman Catholic Church was exceptional in itself—he was the first non-European elected Pope in over a millennium and the first ever from the Americas—but it is more noteworthy because his ambitious programs and courageous statements have marked him as different from previous Popes. The early and middle parts of this extremely well-researched work focus on the complexity of Argentina's Jesuit community of the 1950s through the 1990s. Ivereigh chronicles Bergoglio's rapid rise in the Jesuit order in Argentina and his strong commitment, through personal example, to social justice and helping the poor. Controversy was a constant companion through the Argentine Dirty War, church politics, and his time as bishop and cardinal, all of which is explained in great detail. Bergoglio's election to Pope and his planned program for change are elaborately explained as well. The narration by Ivereigh is masterly.
VERDICT Highly recommended. ["A meticulous and lovingly written biography that will please both knowledgeable and amateur readers," read the review of the Holt hc, LJ 10/1/14.]

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