' new book A Twentieth-Century Crusade: The Vatican’s Battle to Remake Christian Europe
(Harvard University Press, 2019) explores how World War I galvanized the central government of the Catholic Church to craft its own variety of internationalism, which was intended to rival both liberal and communist internationalism. From 1918 up through the mid-1960s, the Vatican’s ‘Catholic International’ made novel use of international law, public diplomacy, and new forms of communications to deepen the ties between the Catholic Church and different countries and weaken perceived ideological and geopolitical rivals.
Drawing on new archival research conducted in eight countries, the book aims to show how the Vatican’s internationalist activities decisively shaped European reconstruction after both the Great War and World War II, and left a lasting mark on global politics, culture, and society. A Twentieth Century Crusade
is an avowedly revisionist interpretation of the existing literature on the Holy See in the 20th century. Not all scholars by any means will agree with some or indeed much of what Professor Chamedes has to say. However, no one can gainsay her attempt to re-envisage the politics and diplomacy of the Vatican in the period covered by her book. Henceforth, no one will be able to examine the history of the Holy See in the 1914 to 1965 period without dealing with her new and challenging interpretation.
Giuliana Chamedes is Assistant Professor of History and a faculty affiliate of the Religious Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Charles Coutinho Ph. D. of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written recently for Chatham House’s International Affairs.