Dorothy Day: Friend to the Forgotten

Overview

This fascinating biography chronicles the life of Dorothy Day, known the world over as the leader of the Catholic Worker Movement. Guided by a strong commitment to social justice and by deep religious ideals, Dorothy Day dedicated her life to the service of others. Deborah Kent here recounts the trials and triumphs of Dorothy Day's life, detailing her role as the founder of numerous "houses of hospitality" that provided food and shelter to the destitute and as the champion of ...
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Overview

This fascinating biography chronicles the life of Dorothy Day, known the world over as the leader of the Catholic Worker Movement. Guided by a strong commitment to social justice and by deep religious ideals, Dorothy Day dedicated her life to the service of others. Deborah Kent here recounts the trials and triumphs of Dorothy Day's life, detailing her role as the founder of numerous "houses of hospitality" that provided food and shelter to the destitute and as the champion of causes that helped those in need.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Eight-year-old Dorothy Day lived in Oakland, California, when the great San Francisco earthquake hit in 1906. As thousands of homeless poured into Oakland from across the bay, every Oakland family gladly did what they could to help their less fortunate neighbors. This spirit of generosity made a huge impression on Dorothy, one that stayed with her through the years, and would define her life's work. Growing up on the edge of poverty herself, Dorothy became a leader in the fight for human rights and dignity in our nation. Guided by a deep-rooted commitment to social justice, she dedicated her life to the service of others. She is best known as the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, and for the establishment of "houses of hospitality," or as we call them today, homeless shelters and soup kitchens. Complete with black and white photographs of Dorothy and her contemporaries, this comprehensive biography tells her story of service to the poor without sugarcoating. Often drawing on Dorothy's own words from her autobiography, she is presented in her entirety, with no attempt to exclude the darker parts of her life, including decisions and actions she would come to regret later in life. Her out of wedlock cohabitation, abortion, short-lived marriage, affiliations with socialism and communism, and her imprisonments are all covered. By the end, readers will feel that they have met Dorothy personally rather than just in the pages of a book. 2004 (orig. 1996), Eerdmans Book for Young Readers, Ages 12 up.
—Pat Trattles
KLIATT
Dorothy Day (1897-1980) spent most of her long life working and writing on behalf of the poor. Known preeminently for her writing and publishing of The Catholic Worker, which still sells for a penny a copy (the price she set), and for her work in refuges for the homeless, which she named "hospitality houses," Day lived a life of intense thought, prayer, and action. Somewhat of a renegade and considered "a nut" by her father, Day, a single mother, finally read her way into the Catholic Church after initially despairing of finding a cause that adequately expressed the total commitment she sought. The author, quoting frequently from Day's own writings, traces her "pilgrimage" (Day's term) as she fought tirelessly over the years for the worker, against war, and against the use of weapons of mass destruction. In a careful, even-handed approach, Kent portrays Day's life with empathy and manages to avoid any surplus of sentimentality. The style is smooth and highly readable. The text is accompanied by photos of the people mentioned in the text; terms or historical events that might be new to the YA reader are explained. KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1996, Eerdmans, 169p. illus. notes. bibliog. index., Ages 12 to adult.
—Patricia Moore
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10Born in 1897, Day was a human-rights activist with a nonconformist lifestyle. Earning her living as a journalist, she was an unmarried mother who stood apart by blending radical politics with Christian teachings and spiritual piety. She identified with early feminists and socialists, but unlike Emma Goldman or Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, she could not reconcile viewpoints that rejected religion. An internal struggle ended when she converted to Catholicism and committed herself to the faith that dominated her life's work. The Catholic Workers Movement, founded by Day during the Depression, continues to support community houses in urban slum areas. Written in a simple, spare style that draws from the subject's writings, this account affirms a life of service to the destitute and underprivileged. Black-and-white photographs appear in a 16-page center section. The text compares favorably to Jim O'Grady's Dorothy Day (Ward Hill, 1993), but neither volume measures up to adult biographies in emphasizing her influence on the American Catholic Church. A basic introduction for a generation unfamiliar with this leader for social justice.Janet Woodward, Franklin High School, Seattle, WA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802852656
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 10/28/2003
  • Pages: 169
  • Sales rank: 1,479,183
  • Age range: 10 years
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Table of Contents

Prologue: To Overcome Evil with Good vii
1. A Family Apart 1
2. To Change the World 15
3. Adrift 29
4. The Cottage by the Sea 43
5. A Prayer and an Answer 57
6. A Penny a Copy 69
7. House of Hospitality 81
8. Back to the Land 93
9. The Troubled Path of Peace 103
10. The End of an Era 117
11. The Challenge of Change 131
12. The End of the Pilgrimage 141
Epilogue: A Legacy of Love 153
My Sources for This Book 156
Suggestions for Further Reading 160
Photo Credits 162
Index 164
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