This is the first biography of Pope Pius XI to appear in same eighteen years. Askille Ratti was one of the most colorful figures to reach this highest role in Christ, and from his birth in 1857 to his death in 1939, lived through a period of world significance. The great stature of the man who put an end to the situation of p self- imprisonment and the influence he exerted on modern history make him a figure of interest not only to Catholics but to readers in general. His story is told here against the background of ecclesiastical, political and military events. The characteristics of his character and personality are stressed throughout. His scholarly genius, his interest in science, his encyclicals on marriage, education, the social order, communism, and fascism, and his practical handling of situations created by Musselini and Hitler are key factors in his record. His personal integrity, strength of character and religious leadership combined with his balanced judgment, methodical administrative ability, his humanistic and liberal attitudes to make him a significant figure. The author is to be congratulated for recreating the life and times in such a scholarly and at the same time interesting fashion as to give the book value not only for the picture of the of Pius II but a better understanding of the pontificate of Pius XII as well. Imprimatur.