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Pope Paul VI (Giovanni Battista Montini) led the Catholic Church from 1963 until his death in 1978. The former Cardinal Archbishop of Milan, Italy, he succeed Pope John XXIII and oversaw the Second Vatican Council, bringing it to completion in 1965. Many commentators described Paul VI as the first modern pope because of his extensive global travels and wide use of electronic media. In many respects, he laid the foundation for how subsequent popes would exercise the papal office in the modern world. On Human Life: Humanae Vitae is his final and best-known encyclical letter. In October, 2014, Pope Francis declared Paul VI "blessed", the first step toward his being recognized as a saint throughout the Catholic Church.

Mary Eberstadt is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, consulting editor to Policy Review, and contributing writer to First Things. Her articles have appeared in the Weekly Standard, the American Spectator, Commentary, the Los Angeles Times, the London Times, and the Wall Street Journal. She has authored several books with Ignatius Press including Adam and Eve After the PillThe Loser Letters and Home-Alone America.

James Hitchcock, Ph.D., is a longtime professor of history at St. Louis University, which he attended as an undergraduate. He received his masters and doctorate degrees from Princeton University and has authored several books, including The Supreme Court and Religion in American Life; The Recovery of the Sacred; What Is Secular Humanism; and Catholicism and Modernity: Confrontation or Capitulation?


"[Pope Paul Vi's] genius proved prophetic: he had the courage to stand against the majority, to defend moral discipline, to exercise a ‘brake' on the culture, to oppose [both] present and future neo-Malthusianism." Pope Francis

Review Copy

If you are media and would like a review copy of On Human Life, please email Kevin Wandra at or Cindy Northon at .