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Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church: A 2,000-Year History
ISBN 0761529241 / 9780761529248 / 0-7615-2924-1
Publisher Prima Lifestyles
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Catholics who tire of histories critical of their church will find much to love in Triumph, by the journalist and novelist H.W. Crocker III. With the enthusiasm of a convert, Crocker (formerly an Anglican) tells a story spanning 2,000 years, concentrating on the most heroic and adventurous chapters of church history. Crocker writes clear, crisp sentences ("Origen severed his genitals," begins one chapter; "A little looting goes a long way," opens another), and his version of Catholic history is one amazing scene after another. Triumph reads more like a historical novel than most other church histories, and that quality makes the book one of the most accessible historical surveys for younger readers. Theologically, however, Crocker is so eager to depict the church in a positive light that he's all but blind to its flaws. There's a lot of catechism here, but not much probing into the complexities of the church's involvement in the Inquisition or in World War II, or contemporary controversies such as the ordination of women. --Michael Joseph Gross [via]