David Kertzer has a thing for popes. The historian has authored The Popes Against the Jews (2001) and The Pope and Mussolini (2015), and now he’s back with The Pope Who Would Be King, a big history of Pope Pius IX. Though he was initially a popular leader, the people eventually turned on Pius IX and he secretly fled his kingdom in late 1848, shortly after his Prime Minister was stabbed to death in the middle of the street. Before Italy unified in the 19th century, a large chunk of the Italian peninsula was overseen by the Pope. Then it wasn’t! It’s a complicated but interesting story, one which Kertzer will untangle in a Life of the Mind Salon at the Redwood. Here’s an interview with Terry Gross for some background.