Religion: The Mayor & the Priest

For a country of lively anticlericalism. Marxist polemics and half-empty churches, France has some surprising reading tastes. The bestseller of the last ten years, reports the current issue of Les Nouvelles Litteraire, is The Little World of Don Camillo,* Italian Author Giovanni Guareschi's famed series of stories about the saintly deviltries of Village Priest Don Camillo in his running war with Communist Mayor Peppone. One reason for the book's popularity may be that, while to U.S. readers such shenanigans are amusingly exotic, to Frenchmen they are amusingly, and often disturbingly, familiar....

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