Book Review: The Good Pope by Greg Tobin

October 15, 2012
Article first published as Book Review: The Good Pope: John XXIII & Vatican II–The Making of a Saint and the Remaking of the Church by Greg Tobin on Blogcritics.

The Good Pope: John XXIII & Vatican II, The Making of a Saint and the Remaking of the Church
by Greg Tobin is a biography of Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, the Pope. John XXIII is credited with helping modernized the Catholic Church even though he only served as Pope from 1958 to 1963.

The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy of this book –to enter fill out the Raf­fle­copt­ter form at the end of the post.

  • 288 pages
  • Publisher:HarperOne
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:0062089439
Book Review The Good Pope by Greg Tobin
My rating forThe Good Pope4

Buy this book inpaperorelec­tronicformat*

More Books by Greg Tobin

Thoughts: I wanted to read The Good Pope: John XXIII & Vatican II, The Making of a Saint and the Remaking of the Church by Greg Tobin because I am very unfamiliar with the Catholic dogma and beliefs. Being brought up Jewish I can also not comprehend the elevated status to the Pope in the eyes of mortal men as well as the whole idea of elevating a man into the status of “saint”.

I found it fascinating to read about the different faction within the Catholic church which I never knew existed. The whole “liberals” vs. “conservatives” division was explained very well without dissenting into blame or divisiveness, as Mr. Tobin is simply telling a story (and a good one at that) without taking sides; of course the reader gets to see events more clearly from the point of view of the subject of the book.

I learned a lot from this book, not only about John XXIII, but also about the Christian religion in general and the Catholic sect specifically. However, many of the terms are “technical” which I never heard of and had to look up many of them and then re-read the section to understand them within context.

That being said, the book is very readable, easy to read on a very likeable subject. I got the impression that John XXIII/ Angelo Roncalli was truly a very good man, a strong Pope who kept his “priest in the trenches” priorities while holding the highest level in his occupation. An unglamorous man who was truly a man-of-G-d first and a politician second.

One of John XXIII greatest achievements, outside of providing spiritual guidance for individuals, was convening the Second Vatican Council which was trying to reform the church. The Second Council’s agenda was to open the religion to the modern world while preserving the core traditions, a very difficult mission especially with the conservatives within the Vatican fighting tooth and nail against those reforms.

The Good Pope is an authoritative biographyof a poor peasant who became Pope, a man full of humility, goodness and a healthy sense of humor which helped him greatly throughout his ordeals, diplomatic missions and facing his opponents. Filled with personal passages from Roncalli’s journal, the book is an amazing insight into a man whose short tenure left a large legacy.

Buy this book inpaperorelec­tronicformat*

More Books by Greg Tobin


  • Give­away ends: Octo­ber 22, 2012

  • US/Canada Ship­ping Addresses Only

  • No PO Boxes

  • Win­ners will have 24 hours to write back with their address, oth­er­wise an alter­nate win­ner will be picked

Congratulations: kuligowskiandrew@

TLC Book Tour for The Good Pope by Greg Tobin:

Zohar – Man of la Book
I got this book for free fromTLC Book Tours
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

BOOK BLOGGERS – Have you read The Good Pope? If so link up your review below:

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  • CarlOctober 15, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    My email is : carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx

  • Andrew T. KuligowskiOctober 18, 2012 at 6:23 am

    He was the pope when I was born – and a hero of mine.

  • Heather J. @ TLC Book ToursOctober 19, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    I don’t know much about this particular pope but it sounds like he was truly a good man.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.

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