Prince of Peace
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Prince of Peace

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  94 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Vietnam: bitterly contested on the American home front and on the battlefields of Southeast Asia. Risking his vows to the priesthood and his status as a Korean War hero, Michael Maguire struggles with God and country in this thrilling novel of faith, truth, and honor, "so rich and vital it leaves you breathless" (Chicago Tribune).
Paperback, 544 pages
Published October 2nd 1998 by Mariner Books (first published 1984)
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A real page turner. . . a long read, but worth the time and effort. I loved it!
Ronald Wise
Another one of those unintended Book-of-the-Month-Club purchases from 1984. While it sat on the shelf I thought is was non-fiction, but found I was wrong when I started to read it. A fictional study of one man's desperate attempts to reconcile his Roman Catholic beliefs with the atrocious situations in which loyalty to his nation placed him. Based on the titles of other books written by Carroll (both fiction and non-fiction), Roman Catholicism seems to be a dominant concern in his life, and inde...more
The strength of this book lies in that it reads more like memoir- so much so that I had to keep googling to see if the personal events in this novel actually took place (as far as I can tell, they didn't). Carroll writes persuasively on the role that the Catholic Church played in urging the United States towards involvement in Vietnam, and it is clear that his knowledge is more than speculative. I loved the way Carroll writes about both the Catholic Church and the United States- the way you'd wr...more
This make you think of anything?

"The Korean war could have saved us. . . .

"If we'd learned from it, Korea could have saved us from the moral and political suicide we committed in Vietnam. Will future generations remotely understand what led America to squander her glory, wealth, moral position and the cream of her youth in distant conflicts of no true international significance, and to do so not once but twice?"

How about thrice? This novel was published in 1984, and I'll bet I've had it on my sh...more
This was an interesting perspective on the Vietnam War and gave some insights on the Catholic faith. I really liked the way the book ended, with hope. Here's a quote from p. 530, "We were the Church, that throng gathered in memory. We had been remembering ourselves, becoming part of each other once more. This had been the work of Michael's ghost and the work - Ah Bright Wings! - of the Holy Ghost. That alleluia there and then outweighed all unfinished business, every anathema and each harbored w...more
Patricia Burroughs
Jun 02, 2012 Patricia Burroughs rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Baby Boomers, American Catholics
I read this book when it first was published in 1984, having picked it up at the library because its cover reminded me of MASH. Helicopter, low hills... and it was about Korea and Vietnam. That's not a lot to go on but it intrigued me. By the time I finished, I knew I had to own it. I think it's best not to read much about it before you read it, because there were certain turns of the story that caught me quite off balance.

It's a passionate and compelling exploration of what happened in this nat...more
It took me longer to read this than I expected -- maybe longer than it required. It has the epic sprawl of a 1980s mini-series - Michener over Wouk times Colleen McCullough -- about Vietnam.

At the centerpiece are an Arthur/Lancelot (Peter/Jesus) struggle of loyalty and betrayal. The characters strive to be about Big Ideas, but in the end betrayal is always based on something small, petty, and human.

Carroll chose a first person narrator to tell a 3rd person story, which distracted me often but wa...more
The story of a radical priest, in love with his best friend's wife. Remember when all the stories about priests were about them being in love with adult women?
Kathleen Valentine
I had mixed feelings about this book --- mostly I loved it but I had a huge objection to one part of it. The review of it, complete with Spoilers, is on my blog at:

One thing I found interesting since I read this right after re-reading Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow: the nun whose character I object to in this book is named Sister Ann Edwards. In The Sparrow, which was written some fifteen years later, the married woman/scientist who befriends the priest...more
A powerful, moving story of personal relationships, faith, and self-understanding as affected by war. This book offers great insight into a soldier's perspective and how one's faith challenges one's views of war. An interesting critique of American government and military and church doctrine and hierarchy. I'm definitely more affirmed in my pacifist views after reading this. I couldn't put this book down and read it in 3 days!
After reading 240 of 530 pages, I finally gave up. It wasn't that I didn't like the book; I just didn't like it enough to continue reading when I have so many other alternatives. I have read some of Carroll's other novels and also some of his non-fiction and enjoyed them more than this one. So I just gave up!
I learned a lot about an era I hated because of the discord in our society, caused by a failure in our government. This book was given to me by the authors brother as we worked together in NYC.
Ryan Mulderrig
Jim Carroll's treatise on peace, in novel form...lengthy, but the overwhelming feeling of spiritual grounding upon finishing was well worth carrying it around for two weeks
Not a beach read that is for sure. Really made me think about my Catholic upbringing and war. But thought it was interesting and thought provoking.
Kurt Weber
A great deal of the author's sense of the backstory of the origins of the Vietnam War.
A great novel which centers around a priest in the Roman Catholic Church. An easy read
Charles Riddle
This book tore me up emotionally. Really great story of love and war.
If reading this book doesn't change your life, you need to re-read it.
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James Carroll was born in Chicago and raised in Washington, D.C. He has been a civil rights worker, an antiwar activist, and a community organizer in Washington and New York. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1969 and served as Catholic chaplain at Boston University. Carroll left the priesthood to become a novelist and playwright. He lives in Boston with his wife, the novelist Alexandra Marshal...more
More about James Carroll...
Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews, A History An American Requiem: God, My Father & the War That Came Between Us House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power Practicing Catholic Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World

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