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Synopsis

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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