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Dorothy Day: Portraits by Those Who Knew Her Pbk. Ed Edition

10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1570756641
ISBN-10: 1570756643
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Dorothy Day: Portraits by Those Who Knew Her + Dorothy Day: Selected Writings; By Little and by Little + All Is Grace: A Biography of Dorothy Day
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Editorial Reviews


Both a revealing testimony to the complexity of one of the great Americans and a model for the kind of writing that could shed light on many more of our public figures, especially those we are inclined to romanticize. It is entertaining and enlightening at the same time. --Religious Studies Review

About the Author

Rosalie G Riegle is Professor Emeritus of English at Saginaw Valley State University and a found of the Jeannine Coallier Catholic Worker in Saginaw, Michigan. She is the author of Voices from the Catholic Worker.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Orbis Books; Pbk. Ed edition (July 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570756643
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570756641
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,541,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Here's where you can learn about me, my two new books on war resisters, and my two older oral histories on the Catholic Worker movement and its co-founder Dorothy Day. If you scroll to the bottom, you'll see where my readings and lecture events are scheduled. This list is updated regularly so check back often. To schedule a reading or a lecture, or to ask me to preach to your congregation, please contact me at or call 847-644-2281.

I believe firmly that if we are to make democracy work, we must work politically across the spectrum, both within the system and outside it. Because I wanted to learn more about peaceworkers who are called to civil disobedience, from 2004 through 2007 I interviewed 173 war resisters who have risked arrest and sometimes long prison terms to speak in the loudest way possible against US militarism. The results of this project may be read in my third and fourth oral histories, Doing Time for Peace: Resistance, Family, and Community (Vanderbilt UP, October, 2012) and Crossing the Line: Nonviolent Resisters Speak Out for Peace (Wipf and Stock Cascade, 2013.) They join two earlier books which are still selling well: Voices from the Catholic Worker (Temple, 1993) and Dorothy Day: Portraits by Those Who Knew Her (Orbis Books, 2003.)

On January 1, 2014, the American Library Association designated Doing Time for Peace as a "Choice" book. Please ask your libraries and universities to order all four of my books and mention the Choice Award when you do so. In October of 2013, the Oral History Association presented to me the Voz Populi Award for "outstanding achievement in using oral history to create a more just and humane world.

When I speak at booksignings, I talk about the courageous people who shared their stories with me. Audiences and readers tell me the readings give concrete answers to questions of nonviolent direct action and the often-resulting jail time and provide hope at a time when hope seems in short supply. They also provide concrete evidence that dissent is integral to proecting our civil liberties.

Here's an informal biography, followed by academic details: Born to a political family from Flint, Michigan, I've been drifting to the left ever since I met Catholic Worker co-founder Dorothy Day in 1968. Prior to that, I was a typical Catholic woman--graduating from St. Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana; marrying after a short career in retail; and birthing four daughters. Dorothy Day changed my life. I became active in nonviolent resistance to the Vietnam War and helped to found the Saginaw Valley Peace Watch in Saginaw, Michigan, where I lived for forty years.

Oh, those were the days! We were certain our vigils and rallies and visits to the draft board would make a difference, and eventually they did, as the mighty chorus of the antiwar movement helped to end a needless and devastating war. I wish I could regain the hope of those heady years.

The next thirty years found me working with various religious coalitions to rid Michigan of nuclear weapons, co-founding two Catholic Worker communities in Saginaw, completing my doctorate, teaching English and Women's Studies at Saginaw Valley State University, and publishing two oral histories of the Catholic Worker movement. I participated a bit in Catholic Worker nonviolent resistance and was arrested in several low-key actions in Nebraska, Nevada, and Washington, DC.

Overnight, it seems, I was retired and the grandmother of six, all living in the Chicago area. They're the reason I moved to Evanston in 2004. Grandchildren Jack, Brian, Liam, twins Charlie and Thomas, and Eleanor Rose have been joined by Sophia Marie in Colorado. My hopes that we can give them a better world ground my activism.In Evanston I joined St. Nicholas Parish and became active in immigration issues with our parish peace and justice group. I mentor and raise funds for Iraqi students studying in the US with the Iraqi Student Project. Evanston Neighbors for Peace helps me to continue my decades-long leafletting about war taxes. I also work locally with 8th Day Center for Justice and Voices for Creative Nonviolence and helped to coordinate an Occupation Project all-woman action at Senator Durbin's office in early 2007. Four of us were arrested for chanting the names of war dead in the lobby of the Federal Building and wonder of wonders, we were acquitted!

When the Project for Justice, the Environment, and Peace (PJEP) was founded, I became a part of this grass-roots internet endeavor, and now I facilitate three sites within PJEP: the Michigan Peace Network, Florida Action, and Nevada Action Network. Since 2010 I have served on the National Committee of the War Resisters League. In 2011, I was arrested with Catholic Workers and others at Creech AFB. We were nonviolently protesting the drones which fly from there to bomb villages in Afghanistan, and, in a rare move, the Nevada judge dropped the charges. In 2012 I coordinated six nonviolent trainings in Chicago in preparation for the anti-NATO protests. I continue my protest against the war policies of our government by participating in campaigns to close Guantanamo, to get the US out of the Middle East and to urge a freedom for Palestine. Join me in these activities and in others in your local community. By doing so, we keep our civil liberties alive.

Academic summary: Rosalie G. Riegle, D.A. is Professor Emerita in English at Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, MI. There she taught Humanities, Composition, and English literature; chaired the Honors Program; and received the Landee Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Ishihara Student Service Award, and the Faculty Research Award, as well as a Rush Distinguished Lectureship. Degrees are from St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN; Wayne State University, Detroit, MI; and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Professional affiliations include the Peace and Justice Studies Association, the Oral History Association, and the American Catholic Historical Association. In 2012 she was awarded the Vox Populi Award by the Oral History Association for "outstanding achievement in using oral history to build a more just and humane world."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book completely captivates you. It makes you feel like you are sitting down with all these people and having a cup of hot cocoa. The writer too, has the extraordinary good nature to include herself in the book, remain light and take you with her wherever she knows you'd like to go. The book has amazing insights into every aspect of the human psyche. I found myself reading, being so overwhelmed with its humaness and kindness that I had to stop and press my hand across the page and reverently feel it. It riveting, yet calming.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nanette M. Navarre on December 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
It's Sunday afternoon, and I'm unwinding. I sit down to the refreshment of continuing to read Dorothy
Day: Portraits by Those Who Knew Her, by Rosalie Riegle. I get up to tell you the comfort, joy, and a
whole lot of other things that it gives me! Reading the book is a vicarious living with Dorothy. The
author has done a wonderful arranging of disparate materials, so that there's an appropriate sense of
progression. That's a feat! (This is a book I don't want to end.)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. Hogan VINE VOICE on January 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Dorothy Day, saint of the unwashed and unwanted, pacifist/anarchist,who actually lived the verses in MATTHEW 25 about the least among us,was an astonishing gift to Catholicism of the 20th century. Her influence is as great as any prelate[read any bishops letter on poverty,nuclear war,justice and you can see her gentle,firm hand there],yet it is/was as the co -founder of the Catholic Worker movement that she is best known for. these essays highlight Dorthy Day in her graciousness and deep prayer,her temper and moemnts of depression,her undying faith in the church,and unfailing criticism of the state. Dorothy day is not for the faint of heart or spirit.She disturbs,by her constancy and beauty. I am in constant awe...Hugely Recommended
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Duprestars on July 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great portrait of an inspiring woman, Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement. Riegle interviewed dozens of people and paints a very human picture with their short stories. The book can be read in long sittings or in short snippets. Our world needs more people like Dorothy Day and Riegle shows us why.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. McDonald on November 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker, radical pacifist, friend of the poor, has been called the conscience of the American Catholic Church. Lately she has also been called a saint. But who was she, really? In this moving and entertaining portrait, drawn from the memories of those who knew her best, Dorothy Day emerges as a woman of courage, humor, and love, who left an unforgettable mark on the lives of all she touched. Included are 134 voices of those who knew Day as a friend, a writer, a mother, a champion of the oppressed, and a spiritual guide. They tell what it was like to march with her on picket lines, to go to jail, to pray the rosary, and to discuss her favorites novels or the news of the day. This collective portrait best captures her many sides as a woman who was both ordinary and unique and includes an insert of rarely seen photos.
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