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Download Prisoner of the Vatican: The Popes’ Secret Plot to Capture Rome from the New Italian State Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Prisoner of the Vatican: The Popes’ Secret Plot to Capture Rome from the New Italian State Audiobook, by David I. Kertzer Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.63 out of 53.63 out of 53.63 out of 53.63 out of 53.63 out of 5 3.63 (8 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David I. Kertzer Narrator: Alan Sklar Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2004 ISBN: 9781400171422
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Based on a wealth of documents long buried in the Vatican archives, Prisoner of the Vatican tells the story of the Church’s secret attempt to block the unification of Italy and seize control—not in ancient times, but in the late nineteenth century. For more than fifty years, the pope was a self-imposed prisoner within the Vatican walls, planning to flee Italy, to return only as the restored ruler of Rome and the Papal States. The scheme to dismantle the newborn Italian nation involved not only the cardinals and the Curia but also attempts to exploit the rivalries among France, Germany, Austria, Spain, and England.

Kertzer brings to light an untold drama played out among fascinating characters: Pope Pius IX, the most important pontiff in modern history; King Victor Emmanuel, working behind the backs of his own ministers; the dashing national hero Garibaldi; France’s ill-starred Napoleon III, and many more. During this time, Italy was besieged from within and without, and Church history changed forever when the pope was declared infallible for the first time. Prisoner of the Vatican looks deep into the workings of the Church in its final bid to regain the pope’s temporal power. Kertzer sweeps readers along with riveting, revelatory panache. No one who reads his new book will ever think of Italy, or the Vatican, in quite the same way again.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Kertzer…offers history writing at its best, and provides insight into a little-known chapter in religious and political history.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “[A] rousing tale of clerical skullduggery and topsy-turvy politics, laced with plenty of cross-border intrigue.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 May Khaw | 10/28/2013

    " A bit slow, but very detailed. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Northman 737 | 10/3/2013

    " I'm sure this book is good if you care about the history of the Vatican. I'm not sure what I expected but this book was not it. I barely managed to continue reading until the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Yvonne | 7/31/2013

    " A little dry, but interesting information "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Eppenstein | 7/11/2013

    " A wonderful history of the Church in the 19th and early 20th centuries. After reading this book you come to understand that the Church's inability to comprehend contemporary ideas and technology is probably a matter of policy rather than profound ineptitude. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 B Kevin | 2/28/2013

    " Fascinating historical of politics and intrigue by a noted historian. Fills the gap in Italian history between the Romans and its unification in the 19th century. A rather large gap of which I had read little. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nora | 2/16/2011

    " An interesting legal and medical history around a time of great change following Italy's unification. I learned way more than I needed to about syphilis, sometimes more than once, though, so that's why it gets only 2 stars. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pat | 7/11/2008

    " A fascinating story about a 19th century Italian peasant woman who stood up to the power of the government, the church and the aristocracy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Meri | 7/9/2008

    " Though a little repetitive, this was a good story about a peasant woman's fight against the establishment during a period of rapid social change in Italy. "

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About the Author
David I. Kertzer was born in 1948 in New York City. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1986, he has twice been awarded, in 1985 and 1990, the Marraro Prize from the Society for Italian Historical Studies for the best work on Italian history. He is currently Paul Dupee, Jr. University Professor of Social Science and a professor of anthropology and history at Brown University. He and his family live in Providence.
About the Narrator

Alan Sklar, a graduate of Dartmouth, has excelled in his career as a freelance voice actor. He began narrating audiobooks in 1996, winning seven AudioFile Earphones Awards and earning several “Best Voice” awards. He has also worked as a stage actor and as a promo announcer at WPIX-TV in New York City. His dream is to be an opera singer, a role for which he hones his bass-baritone operatic skills in the upstairs shower of his home.