The Pope’s Last Crusade

How an American Jesuit Helped Pope Pius XI’s Campaign to Stop Hitler

Italian: Quando il Papa cercò di fermare Hitler
Spanish: La Última Cruzada del Papa

Drawing on untapped resources, exclusive interviews, and new archival research, The Pope’s Last Crusade by Peter Eisner is a thrilling narrative that sheds new light on Pope Pius XI’s valiant effort to condemn Nazism and the policies of the Third Reich—a crusade that might have changed the course of World War II.

A shocking tale of intrigue and suspense, illustrated with sixteen pages of archival photos, The Pope’s Last Crusade: How an American Jesuit Helped Pope Pius XI's Campaign to Stop Hitler illuminates this religious leader’s daring yet little-known campaign, a spiritual and political battle that would be derailed by Pius’s XIs death just a few months later. Peter Eisner reveals how Pius XI intended to unequivocally reject Nazism in one of the most unprecedented and progressive pronouncements ever issued by the Vatican, and how a group of conservative churchmen plotted to prevent it.

For years, only parts of this story have been known. Eisner offers a new interpretation of this historic event and the powerful figures at its center in an essential work that provides thoughtful insight and raises controversial questions impacting our own time.

A documentary film "Holy Silence," by Emmy-nominated director Steven Pressman was largely based on The Pope's Last Crusade book. Peter Eisner is a narrator for some parts. View it in photo & video gallery.

Purchase Options

Available formats: Print (Paperback and Hardcover), E-book and Audio

Italian: Quando il Papa cercò di fermare Hitler
Spanish: La Última Cruzada del Papa

The Pope’s Last Crusade book by Peter Eisner
Audio Sample
Characters & ChronologyPhoto & VideoInterviews / Media

Publisher: William Morrow & Company
Language: English
Print (March 19 2013): ‎304 pages
ISBN-10: 0062266322
ISBN-13: 978-0062266323
Audio (May 02 2017): 7 hours 47 minutes
Narrator: Rick Adamson


“Eisner has done history and the Vatican a service by retrieving from obscurity a significant episode in Catholic-Jewish relations.”
—Publishers Weekly

“An exciting reminder of how Vatican machinations continue to haunt history.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“This narrative reads like a detective story or a true spy tale.”
—Americans for Religious Liberty

“This is an interesting work that usefully poses a what-if question while attempting to provide a more balanced view of Vatican policies in the 1930s.”

“Engrossing ... Lively.”
—Library Journal

“Gripping ... Finally, the story of a lost opportunity that could have affected the course of history can now be told.”
—Voice of Reason

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