When the Second Vatican Council ended on Dec. 8, 1965, Pope John XXIII, who convened the council in 1962, had died. A new pope, Paul VI, with more traditional views, had been elected. The council had gained notoriety for its heated debates and for having produced more lines of text than any of the other 20 previous councils -- 32 percent of the total. Besides being wordy, the text was often contradictory and difficult to understand. Fifty years later, the documents are still debated, as can be seen in the seven books discussed here.