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BOOK REVIEWS117 The contents range from brief histories of less than a page to long descriptions of major parishes. The short entries typically locate the church geographically ,followed by a listing ofpastors and often information on membership and societies. The existence of a school if present is invariably noted, a reflection of Father Kruszka's strong interest in education. He is best at the large colonies where background on settlement development provides a helpful context to congregational histories. His extended treatments are heavily biographical with an emphasis on clerics. The parish leader, known to but not necessarily admired by the author, evokes strong opinions that enliven the pages. A good example is his lengthy and insightful discussion of Father Dominik Kolasinski of Detroit's St. Wojciech (Adalbert) Church. A controversial figure in his own time, he emerges from the pen of the Ripon priest as blessed with social graces but willful, demagogic, and a burden to his bishop. Bishop Caspar Borgess does not escape criticism for his clumsy handling of the situation, and Kruszka's description emphasizes his sense that in America the opinion of laypersons must be consulted, though not always be determinant. The History offers an alltoo -rare sense of the flavor of life in a new ethnic community by an intellectual from the leading stratum of this largely peasant group. For scholars the volumes , enriched by the notation, offer a readable and stimulating source of information on the formative years ofAmerican Polonia. William J. Galush Loyola University Chicago Catholic Converts: British andAmerican Intellectuals Turn to Rome. By Patrick Allitt. (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. 1997. Pp. xiii, 343. $35.00.) "Nearly all the major Catholic intellectuals writing in English between 1840 and I960 were converts to Catholicism" (p. ix). This is Allitt's thesis. Its significance becomes clear in the light of Newman's lament in 1853 that English was a Protestant tongue (p. 12). The first significant Catholic intellectual conversation in the English language since the Reformation, Allitt claims, was shaped decisively by the Catholic converts whose lives he chronicles in this book. Old Catholics in both England and the United States belonged to a small and longembattled minority. Immigrants swelled their number during the nineteenth century. But neither group was well positioned to participate in the intellectual life of the dominant Protestant culture. This engagement fell to the converts. As Scott Appleby has noted (America, February 28, 1998), the effect of Allitt's book is to make his thesis appear "self-evident." The book's thirteen chapters follow the chronology of European Catholic history with the study's subjects appearing at appropriate points. The first four chapters set the stage in post-Reformation England and introduce the first nineteenth-century English and American converts. John Lingard and Nicholas Wiseman are small islands of Catholic intellectual life in the English Protestant 118BOOK REVIEWS sea. Lord Acton is "more nearly than any other figure the exception to the rule that the Catholic intellectual revival was a convert phenomenon" (p. 37). Future cardinals Newman and Manning, the architect Augustus Pugin, and various representatives of the "American Oxford movement" figure prominently. Chapter IV has a good section on Newman and Orestes Brownson. Ultramontane Catholicism's hardening against modernity is seen through the lives of Isaac Hecker and Richard Simpson (Chapter V) and St. George Mivart and George Tyrrell (Chapter VI). Chapter VH's women converts include the historian Elizabeth Kite, author Katherine Burton, and social scientist Eva Ross. The final six chapters treat the twentieth century with emphasis on the converts ' role in creating, between the two world wars, a transatlantic, Catholic literary revival for which Frank Sheed and Maisie Ward provided the books. Allitt conveys the revival's disillusionment with secular rationality and its conflicted relationship with totalitarianism. Chapter XI, on the historians Carlton Hayes and Christopher Dawson, and Chapter XII, on the novelists Evelyn Waugh and Graham Greene, are especially worthwhile. The preface and introductory chapter summarize Allitt's argument well. In the main, the argument succeeds. But there is one group Allitt ignores. Bishops such as John England, Francis R Kenrick, his brilliant and cantankerous brother Peter, Martin Spalding, and clergy such as James Corcoran...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 117-118
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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