The history of one of the most famous Orders of the Church is told here in a comprehensive, well-supported, and interesting way. The work is arranged chronologically, the main, but its principal method is that of biographical accounts of many of the leading members of the order, from St. Berthold, traditionally regarded as founder, through a wide range of personalities that includes Simon Stock, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, Madam Acarie, St. Therese of Liseaux, and Pere Jacques of Concentration Camp heroism. The author deals thoroughly with the question of the origins of the Order, and rejects the strand of tradition that would trace it back to an alleged order founded by the prophet Elijah on Mt. Carmel. The prophetic vocation of the order, symbolized in this tradition, is traced through its history, however. In its rise and fall and restorations, the Carmelite Order experienced a pattern of history not unlike that of other monastic communities flourishing under the patronage of medieval rules, suffering under political disorders such as the Thirty-Years War and the French Revolution, undergoing internal reforms, like those initiated by St. Teresa, and gradually emerging into the twentieth century to rediscover its place and calling in the modern world. The telling of this story here is sober, instructive, but open to the serious lay reader who is drawn to understand better not only the forces that shaped the Order but that have made much of our modern world.