Academic journal article Journalism History

American Catholic Pacifism: The Influence of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement

Academic journal article Journalism History

American Catholic Pacifism: The Influence of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement

Article excerpt

Klejment, Anne and Nancy L. Roberts (eds.). American Catholic Pac(fsm: The Influence of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1996. 224 pp. $57.95.

The chapters in this edited collection examine the origins of the pacifist tradition in American political and religious thought by tracing the organization and development of the Catholic Worker Movement. Early chapters explore the Catholic Worker Movement's roots in the radical left and the way the Movement's founder, Dorothy Day, blended socialism with her own emerging and unfolding spirituality to create an organization with a firm moral and religious foundation. Subsequent chapters examine Movement philosophy, strategy and influence from the early days of World War I through the Vietnam era to the Persian Gulf.

Many chapters provide information unavailable in other books on the subject. There is, for example, a chapter containing correspondence between Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton compiled, introduced and edited by William H. Shannon, and another chapter by Philip M. Runkel explaining resources available in the Marquette University Archives.

Historians will appreciate the essentially chronological arrangement. Students of social movements and others who are already at least somewhat familiar with the Catholic Worker Movement will appreciate the variety of perspectives provided by chapter authors ranging from academic, outside observers to insiders and activists. However, others may find the book less satisfactory. Some information is repeated in several chapters. Readers who are not already familiar with the Movement will find other information missing that they may need to piece together a coherent history of the Movement. …

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