Pope Francis (Photo: AFP), Cover of 'Let Us Dream' (right)
Just when it seemed there was no end to the woes caused by the coronavirus pandemic, there are words of solace from Pope Francis who explains in a revelatory, uplifting, and practical book why we must - and how we can - make the world safer, fairer, and healthier for all people.
In "Let Us Dream" the beloved shepherd of over one billion Catholics sees the cruelty and inequity of our society exposed more vividly than ever before. He also sees, in the resilience, generosity, and creativity of so many people, the means to rescue our society, our economy, and our planet. In direct, powerful prose, Pope Francis urges us not to let the pain be in vain.
He begins "Let Us Dream" by exploring what this crisis can teach us about how to handle upheaval of any kind in our own lives and the world at large. With unprecedented candour, he reveals how three crises in his own life changed him dramatically for the better. By its very nature, he shows, crisis presents us with a choice: we make a grievous error if we try to return to some pre-crisis state. But if we have the courage to change, we can emerge from the crisis better than before.
Along the way, he offers dozens of wise and surprising observations on the value of unconventional thinking, on why we must dramatically increase women's leadership in the Church and throughout society, on what he learned while scouring the streets of Buenos Aires with garbage-pickers, and much more.
Pope Francis then offers a brilliant, scathing critique of the systems and ideologies that conspired to produce the current crisis, from a global economy obsessed with profit and heedless of the people and environment it harms, to politicians who foment their people's fear and use it to increase their own power at their people's expense. He reminds us that Christians' first duty is to serve others, especially the poor and the marginalized, just as Jesus did.
The book is the fruit of many exchanges between Pope Francis and his biographer, Austen Ivereigh, in the weeks following the coronavirus lockdown. It was written simultaneously in English and Spanish and will be published by Simon & Schuster's audio division and Simon & Schuster's international companies in Australia, Canada, India and the United Kingdom.
Simon & Schuster Consulting Publisher Stephen Rubin and Vice President and Executive Editor Eamon Dolan acquired world rights, first serial rights and audio rights from the agent, William Barry. "Any wisdom the Pope had to offer would be extremely valuable now," Dolan noted, "but what made me believe ‘Let Us Dream' might actually change the world is how clear and practical his guidance is, and how deeply comforting is the voice with which he delivers it. Here the Pope sounds closer to us - and even kinder - than we've ever heard him before."