Glorifying Christ: The Life of Cardinal Francis E. George, O.M.I., by michael r. heinlein, our sunday visitor press, 520 pages, $29.95

I’ve been an avid reader since childhood, and a good biography is one of my special pleasures. Every life, no matter how invisible, has value and a measure of drama. But some lives leave a mark on their times that’s memorable well beyond an intimate circle of loved ones and friends. Francis George, the late cardinal archbishop of Chicago, was exactly such a person. And Michael Heinlein’s new biography captures the character of this remarkable churchman with exceptional insight and skill.

Heinlein’s book has two great strengths. The first is a matter of craft: He’s a lucid, engaging writer who’s researched George’s life in impressive detail. The second is a matter of substance: The story of Francis George, the man, is thoroughly absorbing. For anyone who knew Cardinal George personally, reading this biography will bring back a flood of memories. …

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