A long, but very readable history of the Vatican, yesterday, today, tomorrow. Not in any sense a history of Catholicism, but rather a study of the Vatican State, of the physical development, the political growth, decline and reinstatment; the clerical and secular powers; the Pope -- his selection, coronation, daily round, relations towards the world; the courts and administrations; the finances. Finally the place of the Vatican in the modern world, through the war and afterwards, in Russia, in Spain, in Italy, in Germany, in America. There's a chapter on the Index. Another on the encyclicals of recent years. Another on the position in regard to divorce and annulment. Seldes may or may not be a Roman Catholic. Personally, I doubt it. But it matters not at all. This is a sympathetic study, good journalism, good historical sense. A book that every Catholic interested in the traditions and the government of his church should own.