This author did not waste his time and was not lazy in writing about this Pope of Hope. If you are a Roman Catholic you will enjoy the insight and may cringe about the foresight of what is revealed. If you are Jewish you will see the opportunity that is available now in coming to grips with reconciliation based on truth of history known only to sons and daughters of Abraham. The book is easy to read, follows in details and reveals as much as one can know about this man of honor, spiritual healing and forgiveness to those who hate him, tried to kill him and disdain his faith. Communists will see just how puny their ideas and philosophy are compared to what motivates and guides this man of God. In the end, like all good biographies you will learn more than you came to know about a simple but powerful example of a man called John Paul II. Excellent superb excellence.
This is a solid, traditional biography that well chronicles the life and times of John Paul II. The work is rich in detail and, on the whole, sound in its analysis of the significance of John Paul's Pontificate. The author does an excellent job, moreover, of describing the theological ideas and works of Karol Wojtyla pre-1978. The work has two relatively minor flaws. First, there are places where catalogues of information -- e.g., the topics of each of Karol Wojtyla's addresses on Vatican radio during the early 1960s, a list of the subjects of each of series of seminars given by Fr. Wojtyla during a certain period -- are inartfully inserted into the text. This leaves one with the impression that the author felt compelled to include all information discovered even when it did not contribute to the portrait being painted. The second is a lack of spiritual depth and sensitivity. Decisions and actions that are essentially religious in nature are analyzed primarily for their worldly consequences and/or presentation. The discussions of "Humanae Vitae" and "Ordinatio Sacerdotalis," for example, are the standard secular analyses one would read from the likes of a Michael Novak. This leaves the reader feeling that the portrait of the man fails to reveal his full spiritual dimension. Overall, however, this is an excellent work of historical biography and Mr. Weigel is to be highly commended.