Born in 1927, Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger had three-quarters of a century ahead of him before he became Pope Benedict XVI. Based on interviews in Rome with Benedict himself, this first part of a two-volume biography traces the young Bavarian from his days growing up in Germany and his conscription into the Hitler Youth during World War II to his career as an academic theologian—including his participation in the Second Vatican Council, where Benedict began to distinguish himself with his passion for reforming the Catholic Church.
"Seewald artfully weaves together politics, church history, philosophy, and theology to show how these influenced and shaped the man who would become Pope Benedict XVI…. An engaging portrait." —Library Journal