MEMOIRS by Josef Mindszenty


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The appended documents indicate that Cardinal Mindszenty was a powerful speaker, but this memoir does him little credit as a writer or historian. A Roman churchman who contentedly supported the regime of Admiral Horthy in Hungary, Mindszenty refused to cooperate with the Communists or their land reforms, and became a Cold War hero as he endured torture, a show trial, imprisonment, and then in old age, detention in a castle. Mindszenty is a stubborn and crafty peasant who occasionally shows a flash of humor, but no theological reflection is recorded, nor any emotion but hatred of Bolshevism, patriarchal spasms toward his flock, and surpassing devotion to his saintly mother. The Cardinal expresses understandable bitterness at being sacrificed to the quondam winds of detente (he was officially removed from his absented Hungarian post this February). Since his partisanship and his prisoner's self-centeredness are unrelieved by new insights or psychological subtleties, it is fair to say that the book will chiefly appeal to a special audience of fellow-thinkers.

Pub Date: Nov. 23rd, 1974
Publisher: Macmillan