American Catholic: The Saints and Sinners Who Built America's Most Powerful Church

American Catholic: The Saints and Sinners Who Built America's Most Powerful Church

by Charles Morris
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Paperback(First Vintage Books Edition)

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American Catholic: The Saints and Sinners Who Built America's Most Powerful Church by Charles Morris

"A cracking good story with a wonderful cast of rogues, ruffians and some remarkably holy and sensible people."       —Los Angeles Times Book Review

Before the potato famine ravaged Ireland in the 1840s, the Roman Catholic Church was barely a thread in the American cloth. Twenty years later, New York City was home to more Irish Catholics than Dublin. Today, the United States boasts some sixty million members of the Catholic Church, which has become one of this country's most influential cultural forces.

In American Catholic: The Saints and Sinners Who Built America's Most Powerful Church, Charles R. Morris recounts the rich story of the rise of the Catholic Church in America, bringing to life the personalities that transformed an urban Irish subculture into a dominant presence nationwide. Here are the stories of rogues and ruffians, heroes and martyrs—from Dorothy Day, a convert from Greenwich Village Marxism who opened shelters for thousands, to Cardinal William O'Connell, who ran the Church in Boston from a Renaissance palazzo, complete with golf course. Morris also reveals the Church's continuing struggle to come to terms with secular, pluralist America and the theological, sexual, authority, and gender issues that keep tearing it apart. As comprehensive as it is provocative, American Catholic is a tour de force, a fascinating cultural history that will engage and inform both Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

"The best one-volume history of the last hundred years of American Catholicism that it has ever been my pleasure to read.  What's appealing in this remarkable book is its delicate sense of balance and its soundly grounded judgments." —Andrew Greeley

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679742210
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/28/1998
Edition description: First Vintage Books Edition
Pages: 511
Sales rank: 1,031,021
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Charles R. Morris has many highly praised books to his credit, ranging from Computer Wars (on the fall of IBM) to American Catholic (on the rise of the American Catholic Church). He has published his opinion pieces in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, and the Harvard Business Review. For many years he was managing partner of a consulting firm specializing in the financial services and investment banking industries, and was also a group executive at Chase Manhattan bank.

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American Catholic: The Saints and Sinners Who Built America's Most Powerful Church 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Engaging, informative and relevant.
Guest More than 1 year ago
American Catholic is a wonderful, concise, well-researched, and well-written history of the Catholic Church in America. It addresses Her short-comings and successes, Her trials and errors, Her peaks and valleys, as She (the church) grew as an institution in America. Not only does the book tackle the history of the church, but it also addresses some large obstacles she is facing as the 21st century unfolds. This book provides a wonderful history of the Church in America, and makes the reader question what direction the church is heading in now. This book is a must read for anyone interested in the Church, or in the development of American Society.