The timeliness of the appearance of this volume cannot be questioned in view of the forthcoming general or ecumenical council being called by Pope John XXIII. More important, however, is the fact that it deals with the twenty general councils of the Catholic Church that have been held between 325 and 1770, in a masterful way. The author is well known as an exceptionally competent church historian. His scholarship is evident on every page of this volume in spite of the fact that there is so much ground to cover in so little space. He tells the story of ""How each of these councils came to be and what they achieved"". This he does most adequately, objectively, and interestingly. This book should appeal to both Catholic and non-Catholic alike as being authoritatively informative and enlightening.