An accomplished popular historian, author of the excellent The Catholic Church In The Modern World, here retells the story of the intrigues, the politics, the skulduggery which were the background for Napoleon's dealings with Pope Pius VII. Story-like description and narration enliven the behind-the-scenes maneuvering which characterized this turbulent period in the history of France and the Papacy. Evidence of prime research sources abounds. Indeed this is a new view of Pope Pius VII whose ""tight rope"" walking reconciled the Church in Italy to living with the Revolution. Pius XII was also thought of as opening the way at the time to a Catholic liberalism. Much of the retelling of how Napoleon tried to enlist the influence of the Church in achievement of his ambitions reads like a newspaper expose. Pius VII's steadfastness and obstinate resistance to the demands of Napoleon in the face of grave reprisals against the Church are depicted as a model for all times. Author Hales sees in Pius VII's policies the embodiment of what has become the nature of papal neutrality in a troubled world--that the Pope is the Vicar of a God of Peace who plays no favorites. The Emperor and the Pope is an exceptionally readable evaluation of the papacy in a critical period in its history.