As the spiritual leader to almost one billion people around the world, Pope John Paul II is one of the most powerful and popular pontiffs in history. "Pope John Paul II" covers the remarkable political life of the first non-Italian pope in 500 years: his prewar childhood in Poland, his rise as a Cardinal under communism, and his elevation to the Papacy, where he survived an assassination attempt and played a pivotal role in the fall of the Soviet Empire.