Acknowledging that it is too soon to draw a complete picture of his subject, the author contents himself with the more modest aim of sketching a ""true outline,"" and does so with considerable success. His aim is to ""elucidate the character of Angelo Roncalli through the events of his life."" In keeping with the basic simplicity of Pope John's aspirations for his own person, the narrative is straightforward. While the material is organized chronologically, the author takes time to develop appropriate information about the surrounding circumstances attending various phases of Pope John's career. This leads him into brief accounts, and sometimes into critical observations on, such matters as maneuvers within the Curia, the mentality and ways of functioning of other personalities, and the connections between developments in the Church and events in the world of political affairs. Thoroughly informed, well put together, favorable to his subject but not adulatory, this biography will be attractive and informative reading for a wide public, Protestant no less than Catholic, who wish to gain a sounder understanding and appreciation of the man who set such momentous new tendencies in motion in the Church.