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The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara

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The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

National Book Award Finalist

Bologna, 1858: A police posse, acting on the orders of a Catholic inquisitor, invades the home of a Jewish merchant, Momolo Mortara, wrenches his crying six-year-old son from his arms, and rushes him off in a carriage bound for Rome. His mother is so distraught that she collapses and has to be taken to a neighbor's house, but her weeping can be heard across the city. With this terrifying scene--one that would haunt this family forever--David I. Kertzer begins his fascinating investigation of the dramatic kidnapping, and shows how the deep-rooted antisemitism of the Catholic Church would eventually contribute to the collapse of its temporal power in Italy.As Edgardo's parents desperately search for a way to get their son back, they learn why he--out of all their eight children--was taken. Years earlier, the family's Catholic serving girl, fearful that the infant might die of an illness, had secretly baptized him (or so she claimed). Edgardo recovered, but when the story reached the Bologna Inquisitor, the result was his order for Edgardo to be seized and sent to a special monastery where Jews were converted into good Catholics. His justification in Church teachings: No Christian child could be raised by Jewish parents.The case of Edgardo Mortara became an international cause c

Synopsis:

National Book Award Finalist Bologna: nightfall, June 1858. A knock sounds at the door of the Jewish merchant Momolo Mortara. Two officers of the Inquisition bust inside and seize Mortara's six-year-old son, Edgardo. As the boy is wrenched from his father's arms, his mother collapses. The reason for his abduction: the boy had been secretly "baptized" by a family servant. According to papal law, the child is therefore a Catholic who can be taken from his family and delivered to a special monastery where his conversion will be completed. With this terrifying scene, prize-winning historian David I. Kertzer begins the true story of how one boy's kidnapping became a pivotal event in the collapse of the Vatican as a secular power. The book evokes the anguish of a modest merchant's family, the rhythms of daily life in a Jewish ghetto, and also explores, through the revolutionary campaigns of Mazzini and Garibaldi and such personages as Napoleon III, the emergence of Italy as a modern national state. Moving and informative, the Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortarareads as both a historical thriller and an authoritative analysis of how a single human tragedy changed the course of history.

About the Author

David I. Kertzer was born in 1948 in New York City. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1986, he has twice been awarded, in 1985 and 1990, the Marraro Prize from the Society for Italian Historical Studies for the best work on Italian history. He is currently Paul Dupee, Jr. University Professor of Social Science and a professor of anthropology and history at Brown University. He and his family live in Providence.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307486714
Publisher:
Alfred Knopf
Subject:
Jews
Author:
Kertzer, David I.
Author:
David I. Kertzer
Subject:
Converts from judaism
Subject:
Jewish
Subject:
Converts from Judaism -- Italy -- Bologna -- Biography.
Subject:
Christian converts from Judaism -- Italy -- Bologna -- Biography.
Subject:
Church History - Catholic
Subject:
Italy
Subject:
Christianity - History - Catholic
Subject:
History
Subject:
Western Europe
Subject:
Christian converts from Judaism.
Subject:
Europe - Italy
Subject:
Western Europe - General
Subject:
Mortara, Pio
Subject:
Jews - Italy - Bologna -
Subject:
Europe - Western
Subject:
Biography-Historical
Subject:
Christianity-Church History General
Subject:
Italy-General
Subject:
World History-Italy
Subject:
Crime - True Crime
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
1997
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
350

Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Historical
History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime
History and Social Science » World History » European History General
History and Social Science » World History » Italy
Religion » Christianity » Christian Church » History
Religion » Christianity » Church History » General
Religion » Christianity » General
Religion » Judaism » General
Religion » Judaism » History

The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara
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$ In Stock
Product details 350 pages Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group - English 9780307486714 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , National Book Award Finalist Bologna: nightfall, June 1858. A knock sounds at the door of the Jewish merchant Momolo Mortara. Two officers of the Inquisition bust inside and seize Mortara's six-year-old son, Edgardo. As the boy is wrenched from his father's arms, his mother collapses. The reason for his abduction: the boy had been secretly "baptized" by a family servant. According to papal law, the child is therefore a Catholic who can be taken from his family and delivered to a special monastery where his conversion will be completed. With this terrifying scene, prize-winning historian David I. Kertzer begins the true story of how one boy's kidnapping became a pivotal event in the collapse of the Vatican as a secular power. The book evokes the anguish of a modest merchant's family, the rhythms of daily life in a Jewish ghetto, and also explores, through the revolutionary campaigns of Mazzini and Garibaldi and such personages as Napoleon III, the emergence of Italy as a modern national state. Moving and informative, the Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortarareads as both a historical thriller and an authoritative analysis of how a single human tragedy changed the course of history.
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