Father Coughlin

Coughlin, Charles Edward

Charles Edward Coughlin (kŏg´lĬn), 1891–1979, Roman Catholic priest in the United States, b. Ontario, Canada, grad. Univ. of Toronto, 1916. After study at St. Michael's College, Toronto, he was ordained (1916) and became (1926) pastor of the Shrine of the Little Flower at Royal Oak, Mich. In the 1930s he made radio addresses in which he criticized such diverse groups as U.S. bankers, trade unionists, and Communists. In 1934 he organized the National Union for Social Justice, which denounced President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal policies and advocated such measures as silver inflation as well as the nationalizing of banks, utilities, and natural resources. Coughlin also published a magazine, Social Justice, in which he expressed pro-Nazi opinions and made increasingly anti-Semitic remarks directed especially at Jewish members of Wall Street. The magazine was barred from the mails by the U.S. government for violation of the Espionage Act and ceased publication in 1942. Father Coughlin was meanwhile silenced by his superiors but continued his parish duties.

See A. Brinkley, Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and the Great Depression (1982).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Father Coughlin: Selected full-text books and articles

The Priest and the President: Father Coughlin, FDR, and 1930s America
Jeansonne, Glen.
The Midwest Quarterly, Vol. 53, No. 4, Summer 2012
Father Coughlin, His "Facts" and Arguments
F. Coughlin.
American Jewish Committee, 1939
A Catholic New Deal: Religion and Reform in Depression Pittsburgh
Kenneth J. Heineman.
Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Confirmation Catholic Reformers Confront the Rise of Fascism and the Approach of World War II, 1939-1941"
The Populist Persuasion: An American History
Michael Kazin.
Basic Books, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Social Justice and Social Paranoia: The Catholic Populism of Father Coughlin"
The Catholic Counterculture in America, 1933-1962
James Terence Fisher.
University of North Carolina Press, 1989
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "the Catholic Workers and Catholic Culture, 1933-1949"
The American Irish: A Political and Social Portrait
William V. Shannon.
University of Massachusetts Press, 1989 (2nd edition)
Hoods and Shirts: The Extreme Right in Pennsylvania, 1925-1950
Philip Jenkins.
University of North Carolina Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "The Franco Way: The Coughlin Movement"
Organized Anti-Semitism in America: The Rise of Group Prejudice during the Decade 1930-40
Donald S. Strong.
American Council on Public Affairs, 1941 (2nd edition)
History of Bigotry in the United States
Gustavus Myers; Henry M. Christman.
Capricorn Books, 1960
Mightier Than the Sword: How the News Media Have Shaped American History
Rodger Streitmatter.
Westview Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "Father Coughlin: Fomenting Anti-Semitism via the Radio"
Roosevelt and Romanism: Catholics and American Diplomacy, 1937-1945
George Q. Flynn.
Greenwood Press, 1976
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