Check to see if this title is already in your library's catalog. If it is,
put a hold on it and check it out. If not, fill out a patron request form right
away. This can usually be done online at your library's website.
Title: John Paul the Great: Remembering a Spiritual Father
Author: Peggy Noonan
Publisher: Viking Adult
Date Published: November 2005
Comments: Written by former presidential speech writer and columnist /
contributing editor to the Wall Street Journal.
Speechwriter and columnist Noonan is better at flashing insight and anecdote
than at sustained argument and narrative. Her memoir of the late pontiff is,
then, scrappy, though lyrical passages about John Paul's exceptionally didactic
charisma and her own growth in faith predominate. Specifically motivating the
book is the fact that, when elected in 1978, John Paul arrived to "speak" to
Noonan with conversionary power precisely at the time she returned to church
and began immersing herself in orthodoxy. Hence her keen appreciation of his
mission to embody Christianity throughout the world, culminating in his
unusually public dying, which reminded Christians and testified to non-Christians that
the "highest" Christian must suffer, too--that, indeed, God so suffered in
Christ, only to rise again as all Christians, whether confessing on Earth or
not, shall rise. Noonan expands further on another aspect of John Paul's theology
of the body that is often misrepresented in the West: his insistence that
soul and body are absolutely inseparable, and to abuse the body through sexual
incontinence, in particular, is to wound the soul. Surprisingly, or not, she
then proceeds to score John Paul for insufficiently responding to the sexual
scandals among the American priesthood. From that point to the end, many may feel
Noonan focuses too much on her own doings, though she rallies for one good
chapter on the beatification of Mother Teresa and another on John Paul's funeral.
Uneven though it is, this is an absorbing personal tribute to a remarkable
figure. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
…reflective essays, anecdotes, and interviews that shed light on select
moments of his life and testify to his humanity.
As the leader of the Catholic Church, the oldest continuing institution in
the Western world, Pope John Paul II was a giant in every sphere he touched—
personal, theological, political, ecumenical. In an age rich with heroes, Pope
John Paul II was truly the great man of the past century—a man who personally
confronted its tragedies, from Nazism to communism. A paradoxical figure, Pope
John Paul II was an intellectual animated by confidence and joy, a poet and
playwright, a supporter of freedom who decried its abuse, a tough political
gamesman, and a mystic convinced that the bullet that nearly killed him in Rome was
directed away from his heart by the hand of the Mother of God.
Here, bestselling author Peggy Noonan brings her sharp observations, acute
sensibility, warmth, and wit to the life of the pope and shows the personal
effect his journey had upon her and millions of others throughout the world.
Written with heart and depth, this book is at once a moving elegy and a brilliant
celebration of a man whose life taught us the greatest lesson of all: how to
From the Back Cover
Praise for Peggy Noonan and When Character Was King:
"You read her in thrall to her striking ability to behold great vistas
through a pinhole . . . in a language that is always concrete and vital."
—The New York Times
"Noonan possesses an astonishingly deft touch."
"The essence of Mr. Reagan’s character, and perhaps the character of a
—The Dallas Morning News
About the Author
Peggy Noonan, author of the bestselling When Character Was King, has
contributed articles and essays to Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Washington
Post, and many other publications. She is currently a columnist and
contributing editor at The Wall Street Journal.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]