Magazine November 29, 2010, Issue

For God and Man

Pope John Paul II blesses the crowd as he is escorted by a Fijian warrior in Suva, Fiji, November 21, 1986. (Luciano Mellace/Reuters)
The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II — The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy, by George Weigel (Doubleday, 608 pp., $32.95)

In this book, George Weigel maintains the very high standard he has long achieved of presenting controversial Roman Catholic subjects with the sympathy and insight of a committed adherent and the balance and rigor of an eminent scholar and historian. There will doubtless be herniating masses of further documentation published on every phase of the subject’s 27-year papacy. And there will be more elaborate discussions of the vast subjects John Paul II grappled with as he tried to reconcile Catholic Christian faith with the destabilizing influences of the Enlightenment, and the relativism and the temptations of gratification, that have assaulted

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