A review of Faith and Fury: The Rise of Catholicism During the Civil War (Ewtn Publishing, 2019) by Fr. Charles Connor
The abolitionists are wrong as to their point of departure. They begin, consciously or unconsciously, by assuming that the people of the United States are one people, not in the restricted sense in which they are so declared by the constitution, but in all senses, to the fullest extent, as much so as the people of France or England.
— Orestes Brownson
Even if Father Charles Connor does not go far enough in challenging the utopian narrative of American liberal progress in Faith and Fury: The Rise of Catholicism During the Civil War, his extensive, meticulous, and scholarly treatment of the period in question brings to light numerous facts which have generally been overlooked. Indeed, if we use Father Connor’s rich account as a starting point, we may well go on to wonder whether the information he relates has been overlooked and glossed over precisely because it is extremely embarrassing to 21st – Century American Catholic educators and scholars. Such people are in the habit of accomodating mainstream American sensibilities even at the cost of politically “sanitizing” and misrepresenting the Church’s history and heritage.
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