Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Der Wanderer of St. Paul. the First Decade, 1867-1877: A Mirror of the German-Catholic Immigrant Experience in Minnesota

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Der Wanderer of St. Paul. the First Decade, 1867-1877: A Mirror of the German-Catholic Immigrant Experience in Minnesota

Article excerpt

Der Wanderer of St. Paul The First Decade, 1867-1877: A Mirror of the German-Catholic Immigrant Experience in Minnesota. By John S. Kulas. [German-American Studies,Vol. 9.] (New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. 1996. Pp. ix, 285.)

Apart from a few general and rather dated works, the paucity of published studies of Catholic journalism in the United States represents a major lacuna in American Catholic historiography. Der Wanderer of St. Paul, as its subtitle intimates, sets out to elucidate how this German-language paper shaped and was shaped by its immigrant audience. In ten concise chapters Kulas provides a useful summary of insights from recent studies of the immigrant experience and then relates the extent to which the historical data from Der Wanderer correspond to these insights. Kulas is especially adept in describing the "dual mediational function" of Der Wanderer as both a conservator of the cultural heritage of the German immigrant, and often unconsciously, as an agent of assimilation.

As this work is the ninth volume in the new "German-American Studies" series published by Peter Lang, Kulas demonstrates an understandable partiality to the cultural as opposed to the more narrowly ecclesial importance of Der Wanderer.This partiality has yielded interesting chapters on the role of Der Wanderer as a purveyor of German literature, poetry, music, and theater on the American frontier. However, readers with an interest in the editorial stance of the paper on particularly "Catholic" issues may be disappointed. …

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