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From the Publisher"Makes a major contribution to women's history by taking seriously religion as a category of analysis for understanding Progressive Era reform impulses. . . . More than a study of Catholic reformers, this book helps us understand why many religious women rejected feminism and yet acted as feminists."
"An important contribution. . . . Cummings's strategy of explicating the dual identity of American Catholic women through the lives of four 'exceptional' women works exceedingly well. She expertly weaves between biography and social history, expanding her analysis outward onto broad issues. . . . With subtlety, insight, and detailed research, Cummings elucidates religion and gender in the Progressive Era by considering American Catholic women as important historical agents."
-Journal of Religion
"New Women of the Old Faith is a pleasure to read. Cummings brings a genuinely authoritative voice to her narrative, which unfolds with ease and grace. Her analysis of the intra-Catholic debate over gender and identity that characterized the pivotal decades around the turn of the twentieth century is an important contribution to both American Catholic history and American women's history."
-Leslie Woodcock Tentler, The Catholic University of America
"With brilliant insight, Kathleen Sprows Cummings transforms our understanding of Catholic women's history in the United States. Before 1960, she argues, Catholic women had more opportunities for leadership and education inside the church than outside of it. This is a landmark book that will change the way historians write about women in the Catholic Church."
-Catherine A. Brekus, editor of The Religious History of American Women: Reimagining the Past