The enduring influence of the Catholic Church has many sources–its spiritual and intellectual appeal, missionary achievements, wealth, diplomatic effectiveness, and stable hierarchy. But in the first half of the nineteenth century, the foundations upon which the church had rested for centuries were shaken. In the eyes of many thoughtful people, liberalism in the guise of liberty, equality, and fraternity was the quintessence of the evils that shook those foundations. At the Vatican Council of 1869-1870, the church made a dramatic effort to set things right by defining the doctrine of papal infallibility. In Vatican I: The Council and the Making of the Ultramontane Church, John W. O’Malley draws us into the bitter controversies over papal infallibility that at one point seemed destined to rend the church in two. Archbishop Henry Manning was the principal driving force for the definition, and Lord Acton was his brilliant counterpart on the other side. But they shrink in significance alongside Pope Pius IX, whose zeal for the definition was so notable that it raised questions about the very legitimacy of the council. Entering the fray were politicians such as Gladstone and Bismarck. The growing tension in the council played out within the larger drama of the seizure of the Papal States by Italian forces and its seemingly inevitable consequence, the conquest of Rome itself. Largely as a result of the council and its aftermath, the Catholic Church became more pope-centered than ever before. In the terminology of the period, it became ultramontane.
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Emily Inglethorp, the rich mistress of Styles Court manor, is found dead. Poisoned. Hercule Poirot is called upon to investigate the death by Captain Hastings, who is a guest at the manor. Though a retired detective, Poirot steps in to unravel the truth. Who could have killed her? And why? The husband who would inherit the wealth or her stepson? There are others who raise suspicion too. What do the clues add up to? A broken coffee cup, splash of candle grease and the name of the husband on Emily’s dying lips. There is one way to find out and the master sleuth Poirot the Belgian detective who features in thirty-nine Agatha Christie mysteries is sure to find out.
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‘Scintillating … thought-provoking … one of the very best of the great crop of recent books on the subject.’ Andrew Rawnsley, Observer
Democracy has died hundreds of times, all over the world. We think we know what that looks like: chaos descends and the military arrives to restore order, until the people can be trusted to look after their own affairs again. However, there is a danger that this picture is out of date.
Until very recently, most citizens of Western democracies would have imagined that the end was a long way off, and very few would have thought it might be happening before their eyes as Trump, Brexit and paranoid populism have become a reality.
David Runciman, one of the UK’s leading professors of politics, answers all this and more as he surveys the political landscape of the West, helping us to spot the new signs of a collapsing democracy and advising us on what could come next.
When It Rains, Look for the Rainbow
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Seven years ago, Phillip Margolin seized the imagination of thriller readers everywhere with his chilling breakout bestseller, Gone, but Not Forgotten. After five subsequent New York Times bestsellers, Margolin now returns to the haunting terrain of Gone, but Not Forgotten with a mesmerizing tour de force of psychological suspense, an electrifying tale of revenge and retribution that shows a master storyteller at the very peak of his craft. Thursday: Subject is still combative after four days of applied pain, sleep deprivation and minimal food. Vice squad detective Bobby Vasquez, for months on the trail of a slippery underworld figure, receives an anonymous tip that directs him to a mountain cabin. He races through the idyllic Oregon woods, expecting to close the book on a long-standing vendetta. What he finds instead opens a Pandora’s box of horror that will haunt him to his dying day. 8:10: Subject bound and gaffed and placed in upstairs closet at end of hall. Turned out lights in house, drove off, then parked and doubled back. Watched from woods. Within hours, Vincent Cordoni — a brilliant surgeon with a history of violence and drug abuse — is arrested for a heinous crime. Facing a seemingly insurmountable wall of evidence, he turns to Portland’s top criminal defense attorney, Frank Jaffe-who, along with his ambitious daughter, Amanda, must put on an inspired defense. Amanda’s first taste of criminal defense work is as intoxicating as it is chilling, but it raises moral questions she’s loath to address. Is she defending an innocent man? Or is she using her considerable skills to set a monster free? Then Cardoni disappears under bizarre circumstances. Four years later, a second set of murders has begun …. 8:55: Subject exits house, naked and barefoot, armed with kitchen knife. Remarkable strength of character. Breaking her will be a challenge. Has Cardoni resurfaced to ply his deadly trade anew? Is there a copycat killer? Or has the real killer been someone else all along? The police will do everything they can to stop Cardoni — but they have to find him first. Following a twisting trail of clues, including a harrowing diary that clinically records the killer’s horrible deeds, Amanda Jaffe and Bobby Vasquez join the hunt-and themselves become targets of the twenty-first century’s first genuinely monstrous psychopath. :
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