One interesting note: during Karol Wojtyla's years as bishop in Poland the government set about building up the Nowa Huta district of Krakow according to their utopian vision. The result was an array of "human filing cabinets", as Weigel describes them, apartments physically arranged so as to minimize direct contact between their inhabitants. The idea was to discourage the development of any community that would come between the state and the individual. For this reason, too, no church was built and Wojtyla had to campaign hard to get one. Plus, Weigel contends, as early as the 1950's the government promoted the sexual revolution and made abortion easy, and for similar reasons: the strong religious identity of the Poles was taken as a rival to state control. The question of who has the ultimate power - the state, the market, science & technology - and what if anything stands between this power and the individual has to be one of the most foundational issues in politics. Perhaps I shall elaborate on this at some point.
For now, however, if anyone knows of a better JPII biography, do let me know! This one was downright painful to listen to at times.
So to make up for it I moved on to a dramatized production of Goethe's Faust with a cast including Derek Jacobi. Anything with Derek Jacobi is going to be pretty stellar — an opinion I have held ever since I saw Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V, jaw-agape, on a high school field trip. And this Faust is not exception. Absolutely top-notch! Maybe the most enjoyable audiobook I've ever heard...and I've heard quite a few in my time.