This is a journalistic account by a non-Catholic of personalities, policies, activities and events at the Vatican during the past decade or so. The author is an Italian citizen, Rome correspondent for The London Evening News. He has spent twelve years covering Vatican news and studying the organization, thought, policies, personalities and operations of the Vatican. In addition to an extremely interesting comparison of the personalities of Pope Plus XII and Pope John XXIII and of the way in which Vatican personalities reacted to each man, the author provides the reader with a great deal of information about such matters as the Vatican Secretariat of State, the Holy Office, Vatican finances, the Jesuits, the papal guards, etc. In the main, the book is objective and respectful in its approach, but here and there are certain inaccuracies and flippancies that Catholic readers would legitimately resent. It is also unfortunate that for certain bits of information the author could not disclose his sources. The mature Catholic reader, however, will appreciate the lack of romanticism and idealization in dealing with the purely human aspects of the Church that would be hard to come by in a journalistic account written by a Catholic.