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Alexander McCall Smith
Keepers of the Keys of Heaven is an immensely readable treatment of one of the world’s most important institutions. Few historians write as engagingly and wittily as Roger Collins. There is not a dull word in this spectacular triumph of accessible scholarship.”

History Magazine
“Drawing on Vatican archives, accounts from papal ambassadors, spies and historians, the character and policies of the popes, from the obscure to the celebrated, are explained. Collins also addresses the crisis of the Reformation and current debates on the future of the Church, and presents an objective, revealing account of the impact and growth of the pope’s power.”

Theological Studies
“The book is a good read; its prose is vigorous and limpid. [Collins] has a good eye for some types of narrative detail, such as delightful factoids of papal history, the ins and outs of papal elections and the maneuverings of cardinals.”
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ISBN-10:  0465011950
ISBN-13:  978-0465011957
Author:  Roger Collins
Genre:  Religion & Spirituality
Publisher:  Basic Books
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review by . October 19, 2009
This is a quite comprehensive review of the men who have held the papacy from almost the beginning of the Church. It's very well-written and quite easy to understand. Given the vast period of time (almost 2000 years) with which the author has to deal, he has been able to give the reader a lucid account of the good, the bad and the ugly.    My only quibble is that, at times, the book wanders back and forth about certain popes and events, and that can get a bit disconcerting. Other …
Keepers of the Keys of Heaven: A History of the
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