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From the Publisher"Jon Gjerde’s Catholicism and the Shaping of Nineteenth-Century America is a perfectly titled book about how bumptious dialogues among America's variegated Catholics and their frequent, mostly Protestant critics became a major component in creating the modern American nation. The genius of Gjerde’s approach is to set American anti-Catholicism within a far broader context of complex, interweaving dialogues about the kind of society America could and should become, especially in economics, church-state relations, and women's and men's roles, plus the deep arguments about slavery. Few histories have been both so American and so Catholic as is [this book]. [It] is a luminous testament to Jon Gjerde’s achievements as a historian and scholar."
Jon Butler, Yale University
"This book expands our understanding the motives of both Catholics and those Protestants who were hostile to Catholics. It demonstrates that the mid-nineteenth-century quarrel over Catholicism’s place in the constitutional and cultural order of the United States deeply influenced the theory and practice of nationhood well into the twentieth century."
David A. Hollinger, University of California, Berkeley
"A shrewd, thoughtful examination of how religious diversity - notably Catholic immigration to the United States in the nineteenth century - prompted fundamental, often still unresolved questions about the character of religious freedom and American nationalism."
John T. McGreevy, I. A. O'Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters and Professor of History, University of Notre Dame
"… the capstone of the remarkable career of a gifted historian."
Robert Emmett Curran, The Journal of American History
"… a nuanced examination of how Catholic and Protestant leaders’ disagreements over a range of issues shaped antebellum society and how the lack of victory by either side shaped national identity long afterward."
John Dichtl, Indiana Magazine of History
"… a thoughtful reconsideration of the mutually constitutive relationship between Christian and national identities in the antebellum United States."
Elizabeth Fenton, American Catholic Studies