Here is another book on Pope Benedict XVI, but it differs in that author Stephen Mansfield is not Catholic, and he presents Benedict XVIís biography from a different point of view. Manfieldís previous books include The Faith of the American Soldier (2005), The Faith of George W. Bush (2003), Never Give In (2002) and others. He leads a research and education firm called The Mansfield Group whose website is www.mansfieldgroup.com.
Mansfield spends more time with Pope Benedictís biography than other recent biographers do. He uses Pope Benedictís autobiography, Milestones: Memoirs, 1927-1977 (1998), and other sources to write this book, quoting these sources often. For a non-Catholic, he gets most of the Catholic technical terms correct. He starts his story with a short biography of St. Boniface, the Apostle of Germany, to show a connection with this saint to Pope Benedict and his mission in life. Then he goes into the various aspects of Pope Benedictís life.
It is written on a personal level. The reader will get a good feel for the new popeís life and some of his struggles. Mansfield shows that Pope Benedict is a shy academic type who overcomes this for the love of God and his Church. He also shows that Pope Benedict will have a hard time filling Pope John Paul IIís shoes since he is not as outgoing or as dramatic as Pope John Paul was. Pope Benedict, though, has set his pontificate forward by admitting that he is no Pope John Paul II and that he will do things his way. This is as it should be.
Mansfieldís book is recommended for those interested in a very readable and personal biography of the new pope. It is a pleasure to read this book and to learn more about Pope Benedict XVI.