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All Is Grace: A Biography of Dorothy Day Paperback – May 15, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
James H. Forest, a former managing editor of The Catholic Worker, was a long-time associate of Day. He writes with a flourish from an insider's perspective. Orbis Books greatly enhanced his biography with a stunning visual archive, along with sidebar copy fitted to the text by Orbis' publisher and editor-in-chief and former Catholic Worker managing editor Robert Ellsberg, also editor of the critical editions of Day's journals and correspondence, both published by Marquette University Press.
Several dozen books and monographs have treated Day's life and impact, but nothing comes close to Forest's exhaustive volume in terms of coverage of key aspects of her life; the trove of photographs (many previously unpublished) that enhance the text; and, the many amusing and alternately moving anecdotes included from such veteran Catholic Workers as Ellsberg (whom the elderly Day sometimes mistakenly referred to as "young Ellsworth"), Deacon Tom and Monica Cornell and Jim Forest himself. Forest dedicates the work to Tom Cornell and Robert Ellsberg, kindred spirits and long-time friends.
An ancient Christian once remarked of the writings of St. Athanasius: "If you cannot get a copy of one of his books, write it on your clothing!Read more ›
It seems the perspective of additional years of reflection, the opening of the cause for her canonization, and the release of Dorothy's diaries and letters all impacted a fresh look at her life and Jim Forest so aptly gave us a new view of her remarkable life. It is written with the same personal attention to the details of each important phase of her live as was his first book. Each phase of her life is told like a separate story, written so personally as if he was with her at each step. It is the perfect way to tell the story of her life. Dorothy was fond of telling stories to others, and in my several meetings with her during the summer of 1976, she was more personally interested in my view points, opinions and life experiences than she was in talking about herself.
After the first 3 chapters, focused on her early years with her family, the next 8 chapters take us through the struggles of her young adult years beginning with going away to college. It was almost painful reading through these chapters as she struggled to find herself, which she finally did after the Spirit led fateful encounter with Peter Maurin on December 9th, 1932.
The following 7 chapters focus on the early years of the Worker. The core values are covered in separate chapters. At times it seems that competing priorities needed to be sorted out as the Catholic Worker sought to define itself.Read more ›
Not only is Dorothy Day one of the most important people of the 20th century, she's a model of Christian behaviour. I know she's Catholic, but her beliefs and her actions speak to everyone who calls themselves a Christian and believes in loving your neighbour as yourself, whether that neighbour lives next door, occupies the next desk, accosts you on the street for a dollar or lives in some forgotten country in a continent you'll never visit.
Through Jim Forest's transparent prose, I felt I was able to see a saint who is a real human being, a fallible, fallen person whose love for Christ and whose desire to follow Jesus's teachings led her to point the way to what we know is right. Others have called her "prophetic" because in an era where peace activism was almost unheard of and punished, she stuck with it; because her treatment of the down & out, homeless and poor anticipated the social activism of the latter part of the last century, but I don't think she was. She was simply doing what we are all called to do. The fact that it took almost 60 years for the rest of us to catch up to her speaks not to her gift of prophecy, but to our lack of attention and love.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent introduction to Dorothy Day. Better than her autobiography for three reasons: 1) It covers her entire life, not just her early years. Read morePublished 8 months ago by P. J. Sullivan
Forest knew Dorothy Day but writes with clarity about her--he esteems her but can see her flaws. This is a fine introduction to her life, philosophy, and work, and it is enhanced... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Greg Cook
Well researched. Well written. Excellent account of Dorothy Day's life.Published 9 months ago by Boo
I like the style of writing of this book, though I missed therein the insights and the wider implications of Day’s life and thoughts. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Mark Montebello
Really good biography on Dorohty Day, one of the best I have read. Especially recommendable for people who don't know the character very well.Published 20 months ago by Anna
As a friend of Dorothy Day, Jim Forrest brings insight to her that only her own autobiography had previously brought. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Donna
Great story, writing and pictures about one of my heroes and an amazing human being! Well done by biographer, Jim Forest!Published on October 16, 2013 by Laura