cover image Turning Toward the World: The Pivotal Years, 1960-1963

Turning Toward the World: The Pivotal Years, 1960-1963

Thomas Merton, Victor A. Kramer. HarperCollins Publishers, $30 (379pp) ISBN 978-0-06-065480-1

This is the fourth of seven planned volumes of Merton's private journal. Merton, who died in 1968, was a Trappist monk, peace activist and well-loved author of spiritual classics such as The Seven Storey Mountain. Neither mundane nor egotistical, these journal entries demonstrate Merton's characteristic humor and warmth. This journal reflects a time in Merton's life when he is trying to balance his popularity as an author and speaker with his vows of silence as a Trappist monk, his pacifism and his political beliefs with his submission to the authority of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. Above all, Merton's intellectual curiosity about a number of matters--including international and Vatican politics, architecture and his personal relationships--marks this fascinating journal. (Nov.)