This survey launches a major five-volume series exploring the history of the papacy. This initial volume runs from the French Revolution to the fall of the Soviet Union. Its central theme is the response of this most ancient of institutions to the modern secular age. The text considers the Papal response to major events including the French Revolution, the unification of Italy and Germany and the two World Wars. It explores such contentious issues as the relations of the Vatican with the fascist powers, and the "silence" of Pius XII in the face of the Holocaust, and offers a fresh perspoective on international relations since the beginning of the 19th century.