David Kertzer's The Pope Who Would be King, published by Random House in 2018
The violence that erupted in Rome in 1848, the hasty flight of a frightened pope into exile, and the proclamation of the end of the Papal States were among the most dramatic and consequential events of the nineteenth century. Yet today they are practically unknown outside scholarly circles. The story told in The Pope Who Would Be King is central to understanding Europe’s rocky path to democracy, and the ending of the papacy’s role as a pillar of reaction. It heralded the death knell of rule by divine right in the west and was a crucial step in the struggle to separate church and state. Modern Europe as we know it could finally emerge.
Terry Gross, Fresh Air, NPR interview
Penguin Random House Book Page