Review by Choice Review
Until the Vietnam War, 20th-century American Catholicism identified with American foreign policy, with a few exceptions. When it came to war, Catholics were more supportive than most. Just about the only exception to Catholic patriotism was the Catholic Worker movement, pacifist in means as well as ends. (The highly articulate CW dissenters receive space here.) Never large numerically, this lay organization captured the imagination of many American Catholics, largely through the lively prose of Dorothy Day and, even more, through her determined, persevering commitment to the gospel values of peace and justice. The essays here document the sources, origins, and consistent pacifism of the Catholic Worker, placing it in the context of the broader American pacifism scene and Catholic pacifism internationally. The essays often assert the CW influence on the American Catholic Church as it began to take positions supporting conscientious objection and opposing war. The articles by Douglas (a reprint), Egan, and O'Reilly, each for different reasons, weaken the book, but Runkel's archival guide is invaluable. This complements well Nancy Roberts's Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker (CH, Mar'85) and William D. Miller's A Harsh and Dreadful Love, (1973). Upper-division undergraduate; graduate; faculty. D. A. Brown California State University, Fullerton
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.