Mgr Gherardini has written a fascinating book; not flawless in content (at one point he or his translator alarmingly confuses Plato with Socrates; and his references to the Malines Conversations are a mess) or in style, but always thought-provoking.
He reminds us that in Gaudium et Spes "the Council Fathers wasted a great deal of time and thought in order to decipher what the actual culture of the day might be ... Their analysis almost always remained generic, superficial, and redundant".
Indeed. My own feeling is that the Council was guilty of a radical failure in its attempt to Discern the Times. The 1960s were in many ways an attractive era; but the seeds of the horrors which were to come to maturity in the next half-century were already present. The holocaust of the unborn was already a legislative probability. The trajectory which was to lead to the affirmation of heterosexual and homosexual moral disorders as normality, was already fairly clear. Events in the Congo had already given clear indications of the genocidal possibilities inherent in the dissolution of Empire. But warnings and condemnations were quite simply not what the Council wanted to utter; so there was very little attempt to describe and analyse what might just possibly be dangerous or even just plain wrong with the newly emerging world.
With the advantage of hindsight, we can see that the only document of that period which demonstrated any foresight and put in place any caveats was Humanae Vitae.
Which was not a product of the collective wisdom and collegial processes of the Fathers of the Council, but an action of a Roman Pontiff acting solus.
I find that rather thought-provoking.