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Voices From the Catholic Worker Paperback – September 29, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 632 pages
  • Publisher: Temple University Press (September 29, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566390591
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566390590
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,118,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book is even more essential now than when these voices were first heard. It deals with a movement that is so much a symbol of American hope that it's in a class by itself. I strongly recommend Voices from the Catholic Worker."
Studs Terkel

From the Publisher

Reflections on the past and future of a long-standing community

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 riegle@svsu.edu 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

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Karen Doerr on August 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
Four months ago I started volunteering at a fairly new Catholic Worker house in Akron, OH. I knew virtually nothing about The Worker; of course, I'd heard of Dorothy Day and even stayed in a Worker house on a weekend retreat but never thought to inquire into its history and philosophies. A good friend asked me to help her out at the Casa de la Paz (the Akron House), to get me out of the full-time work/college grind. I agreed and fell in love with the folks I came in contact with. Quickly I sank deeper and deeper into the house's struggles and joys (mostly joys) and picked up on the philosophies behind the movement. Aine, one of the house coordinaters, loaned me her copy of Voices from the Catholic Worker to read. An avid reader herself, she pointed out a couple in the book and directed my attention to a hand-written script in the first pages. "To Mary and Pat {Murray}, True Catholic Worker "lifers" and an inspiration to me. Love, Rosalie" I delved into the book and learned of a truly blessed movement through the mouths and lives of the people that helped withstain it. Folks like the Murrays, the Zarrellas, and other common people whose lives were transformed forever. Troester weaves the memories of Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin and other prominent figures into a cohesive history that reads like a campfire conversation. Strangely intimate and familiar, one feels a friendship with the storytellers that delves the reader into the book and arrests his/her interest in the present. (My teapot screamed for minutes before I shook myself out of my reverie and answered its wail.) One of the best books I've read this year, it's a necessary read for those searching for a more intimate recount of the Catholic Worker history.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By sasha_ on April 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
Troester is only the editor of this book. The actual text is taken from interviews of Catholic Workers all over N America. Because of this, it's an all-encompassing book...with voices who are Catholic, Jewish, Athiest, Buddhist, and in-between...people who practice hospitality in different ways, running Shelters, Soup Kitchens, Farms, and also homes for kids...people with all sorts of different opinions and ages...and stories of all different sorts. No one person could possibly have written such an excellent book. Also, if you're hesitating about reading this book because you think it may be too Catholic, or too political, or too do-gooder, too conservative or too radical or what have you...then I suggest that there are so many voices in this book that this need not be a concern. Somewhere in this book there is a story of profound value for everyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. J. Sullivan on June 17, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The intellectual ferment at the Catholic Worker comes across in this book, which includes views ranging from those of prominent people to those of children. Catholic Workers are fiercely independent thinkers who take ideas seriously. Their roundtable discussions are not unlike those of the Transcendentalists at Boston and Brook Farm in the 1840s. But they don't live in ivory towers. They are in the front lines of the struggle for social justice. Practicing hands-on Christianity, they live with the broken people they serve, and have stories to tell that most people cannot even imagine! I especially liked the one about the Catholic Worker activist who was sentenced by a judge to do community service. I already do that, she replied, to the consternation of the judge.

This provocative book of practical philosophy covers the movement from every angle: why people join, why they leave, what they think about war and peace, usury and capitalism, going to jail for justice, community and family life, abortion, homosexuality, feminism, the Catholic church, and many other issues. No evasion of thorny issues here! There are insights from many Worker communities in the U.S. and Canada, plus interesting accounts of the history and personalities of the movement. A very lively and candid discussion! Catholic Workers try to live according to the Christian gospels; this book is a discussion of how they apply those gospel principles to the issues of today.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The intellectual ferment at the Catholic Worker comes across in this book, which includes views ranging from those of prominent people to those of children. Catholic Workers are fiercely independent thinkers who take ideas seriously. Their roundtable discussions are not unlike those of the Transcendentalists at Boston and Brook Farm in the 1840s. But they don't live in ivory towers. They are in the front lines of the struggle for social justice. Practicing hands-on Christianity, they live with the broken people they serve, and have stories to tell that most people cannot even imagine! I especially liked the one about the Catholic Worker activist who was sentenced by a judge to do community service. I already do that, she replied, to the consternation of the judge.

This provocative book of practical philosophy covers the movement from every angle: why people join, why they leave, what they think about war and peace, usury and capitalism, going to jail for justice, community and family life, abortion, homosexuality, feminism, the Catholic church, and many other issues. No evasion of thorny issues here! There are insights from many Worker communities in the U.S. and Canada, plus interesting accounts of the history and personalities of the movement. A very lively and candid discussion! Catholic Workers try to live according to the Christian gospels; this book is a discussion of how they apply those gospel principles to the issues of today.
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