Over the course of the twentieth century, Catholics, who make up
a quarter of the population of the United States, made significant
contributions to American culture, politics, and society. They
built powerful political machines in Chicago, Boston, and New York;
led influential labor unions; created the largest private school
system in the nation; and established a vast network of hospitals,
orphanages, and charitable organizations. Yet in both scholarly and
popular works of history, the distinctive presence and agency of
Catholics as Catholics is almost entirely absent.
In this book, R. Scott Appleby and Kathleen Sprows Cummings
bring together American historians of race, politics, social
theory, labor, and gender to address this lacuna, detailing in
cogent and wide-ranging essays how Catholics negotiated gender
relations, raised children, thought about war and peace, navigated
the workplace and the marketplace, and imagined their place in the
national myth of origins and ends. A long overdue corrective,
Catholics in the American Century restores Catholicism to
its rightful place in the American story.
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