THE PAGODA AND THE CROSS by John F. Donovan

THE PAGODA AND THE CROSS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Bishop Francis X. Ford, a Maryknoll missionary and Bishop of Kaying, China, is a figure of some interest because of the circumstances of his life and death. He spent most of his life in China, remaining there from 1918 until his death in 1952, and probably knew more about that country than any of his contemporaries. Possibly for that reason, among others, he was arrested for ""political crimes"" in 1950, tortured, subjected to a series of degrading public trails, and finally died in prison in 1952. It would be difficult to imagine a life more exotic, dramatic, and inspiring than that of Bishop Ford; and it would be difficult to imagine a book less capable than Father Donovan's of taking advantage of the potential offered by such a subject. The writing is unrelievedly dull, prosaic, devoid of any attempt to do more than record in sing-song fashion the factual data as it might be found in any well tended personnel folder. The book is, in a word, an ""official biography,"" apparently written to satisfy an intramural--i.e., Maryknoll--market. A pity; Bishop Ford, and Maryknoll, deserve better.

Pub Date: May 26th, 1967
Publisher: Scribners