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The Catholic Worker Movement (1933-1980): A Critical Analysis Paperback – November 5, 2010


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The Catholic Worker Movement (1933-1980): A Critical Analysis + The Long Loneliness: The Autobiography of the Legendary Catholic Social Activist + Loaves and Fishes: The Inspiring Story of the Catholic Worker Movement
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse UK (November 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452078424
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452078427
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,329,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Anna on May 30, 2014
Format: Paperback
First of all, English is not my first language, so I apologize for any mistakes.
Fortunately, most, if not all, academic and biographical works on the Catholic Worker Movement and its founders do not make the (intentional) mistakes this book does. Byrne considers the Movement a spokesperson of Stalinism, justifying violence when it defends communism. It is not so important what the author says as what she does not say. The book is plagued with sentences cut and taken out of context, and a lot of missing information, like the fact that the Catholic Worker newspaper asked the US government not to recognize Soviet Russia as a country "in view of its militant atheism" (November 1933), and many other criticisms on Communism, such the hatred between classes it promoted (November 1949), its justification of violence (May 1934), and the almighty power of the State over the person (December 1936). The author, who also considers Mounier's "Personalist Manifesto" "a recipe for totalitarism" (p. 149), clearly wrote this book in order to discredit Dorothy Day, Peter Maurin and the movement they founded. Fortunately, most scholars and clergy do not think like her; Dorothy Day is considered by many the most important american catholic person of the 20th century. An advise to anyone who has ran across this book: please, check any other, or maybe just some webpages like [...], to learn what the Catholic Worker was really about.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Cece T. on August 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
I thought I hit pay dirt finding an opposing viewpoint regarding the canonization of Dorothy Day, but it lacks even a selected bibliography. Pass this book over if you're hoping to cite it as a source for an academic paper. The tone of Byrne's writing frequently came across as crass and unprofessional--there are too many instances of "it is obvious that", name calling like "Red Harry", and quotes taken out of context from Dorothy Day's writings in order support an argument.
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12 of 19 people found the following review helpful By olderandwiser on September 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Carol Byrne's book on the Catholic Worker (CW) Movement is the most significant and interesting one I have read on Dorothy Day and deserves to have a great influence in the debate on whether Day should be canonized. Dr. Byrne's insights into the duality and duplicity of the CW`s philosophy are supported by recent books documenting the evils of Communism from its inception. These books make use of newly available archives and declassified information and include "The Sword and the Shield," by Christopher Andrew and ex-KGB agent Vasili Mitrokhin; "Dupes," by Paul Kengor; and Harvard University Press's "Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression," by Frenchman Stephane Courtois and five other European research scholars. Extremely enlightening is the complete interview with ex-KGB agent Yuri Bezmenov done in the 1980s and now available on Youtube. Bezmenov also wrote "Love Letter to America," in 1984.

A reading of these books makes clear how Dorothy Day used classic Communist tactics in her writings and proved to be a very successful propagandist. As Dr. Byrne notes, Day stated publicly she would stop using the word "Catholic" in the newspaper's title if the Cardinal of New York or his subordinates wanted her to--then ignored repeated requests when they were made. She "loved" the Church while she attacked it for its wealth and made heroes out of Communist dictators who suppressed and attacked Christianity, such as Fidel Castro and Ho Chi Minh.

In the April 1948 CW, Day wrote an artitle entitled, "We Are Un-American: We Are Catholics," making a false distinction that illustrates the Communist tactic of fostering division in targeted societies. She got things backwards in that article. The years immediately after World War II were times of great fervor in the US.
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12 of 19 people found the following review helpful By James on December 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent book filled with facts that Dorothy Day opposed the social teachings of the Catholic Church by continuously backing Communists and Communist regimes.

I think a few things could have been covered more. The close connections with Alinsky and Maritan. Also, it should be pointed out that CATHOLIC Diem was successfully defeating communism in Vietnam, but Day did not support him.

These are minor recommendations, and I highly recommend this book.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. Temple on April 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone who has actually read Carol Byrne's book, knows that it is so thoroughly documented that it is impossible to argue with her conclusions. Many of the facts in the book, describing Day's life and teachings come directly from the Catholic Worker archives. The picture is plain for all to see: Day was a socialist agitator who used her soup kitchens to recruit people to march in the streets for her various left wing causes,

Anyone who disagrees with her conclusions should in all honesty show where she is in error. I doubt if any of them can. This book is encyclopedic in its breadth.

Dr. Byrne has done a tremendous service in exposing the errors in Day's life and work at a time when she is being promoted for canonization by the Catholic Church. The Vatican's "devil's advocate" need not go to any effort at research. Dr. Byrne has done all the work for him.
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