Comrade Don Camillo
by Guareschi, Giovanni
pub. by Pocket Books, NY 1965 (first pub Farrar Strauss in 1964     isbn (none) LCCN = 64-__ - - 167 p. illustrated with some pen and ink sketches.
Peppone, the communist ex-mayor wins the lottery and later was elected to the Italian senat. He is delegated by the communists to tour Russia (Soviet Union) and bring 10 loyal communists along for the trip. Don Camillo convinces Peppone to bring him along under an assumed identity. The bishop, with some servious reservations OKs the trip. Don Camillo has a very interesting tour of the Soviet Union. Through the Guareschi's eyes one sees the inner workings of the Soviet state. Don Camillo manages to continue to be a Catholic priest and even do some ministering, to great positive effect. He manages to corrupt some of the Italian communist contingent, trapping them into seeing who they are, and what Soviet communism really is. This is a thoroughly interesting as well as entertaining book. Human beings act like human beings. A bit of WWII history is revealed (Italians fighting in Russia.) The -note from the author- at the end is particularly interesting. It appears that J. Roncalli (later to become Pope John XXIII) while apostolic nuncio, gave a copy of -the little world of Don Camillo- to Vincent Auriol who was then the socialist president of France. Auriol remembered the gift publically after Pope John XXIII died in June 1963.

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