Praise for The Good Listener
"Intelligent and thought-provoking . . . The Good Listener is neither an ordinary biography nor a depressing litany of case studies. Belton has achieved a book that is thoroughly absorbing yet lacking in prurience. It is a kaleidoscopic view of the horrors that have so disfigured our century, which nevertheless retains a sense of human proportion because of the irrepressible human person at its core."
--"Times Literary Supplement
"Belton's synthesis of biography and history is masterly: it is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the way in which the abuse of political power led to horror in many countries in the twentieth century."
--"The Sunday Times (London)
"A highly original fusion of the personal and the public, [The Good Listener] straddles the genres of biography, history, and reflective moral essay, employing the techniques of the novelist as well as the journalist, stretching the boundaries of conventional biography. An engaged, acutely sensitive narrative [and] a challenging act of witness to the bleak truths about this century's recent history, viewed through the prism of one exceptional woman's life."
"Extreme good is as rare as extreme evil, although this is rarely noticed. What makes someone want to do extreme good? That is what Belton's book [asks], which makes it most unusual and most valuable. . . . This is an essential story, well and sensitively told."
--"The Independent (London)
"A riveting, original, and beautifully judged combination of biography, history, and moral reflection. I know of no book that succeeds so well in making us feel the intimate human reality of thetwentieth century's long reign of political cruelty without ever reducing the scale of the unspeakable--a superb book."
--Fintan O'Toole, author of A Traitor's Kiss: The Life of Richard Brinsley Sheridan