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Book Cover
Author Heineman, Kenneth J., 1962-

Title A Catholic new deal : religion and reform in Depression Pittsburgh / Kenneth J. Heineman.

Published University Park, Pa. : Pennsylvania State University Press, [1999]


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bund  331.880974886 HEIN {Bund81 20190820}    AVAILABLE
Physical description xv, 287 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages [245]-265) and index.
Contents Advent -- 1. Pilgrimage: Father James Cox and the Awakening of Catholic Social Activism, 1932 -- 2. Social Reconstruction: The Moral Basis of Economic Reform, 1933-1935 -- 3. City of God: Class, Culture, and the Coming Together of the New Deal Coalition, 1936 -- 4. Working-Class Saints: Catholic Reformers and the Building of the Steel Workers' Union, 1937 -- 5. Christian Democracy: Anti-Communism, Social Justice, and the End of New Deal Reform, 1938 -- 6. Confirmation: Catholic Reformers Confront the Rise of Fascism and the Approach of World War II, 1939-1941 -- Requiem.
Summary Our popular image of the era of the Great Depression is one of bread lines, labor wars, and leftist firebrands. Absent from this picture are religiously motivated social reformers, notably Catholic clergy and laity. In A Catholic New Deal, Kenneth Heineman rethinks the religious roots of labor organizing and social reform in America during the 1930s. He focuses on Pittsburgh, the leading industrial city of the time, a key center for the rise of American labor, and a critical Democratic power base, thanks in large part to Mayor David Lawrence and the Catholic vote.
Despite the fact that Catholics were the core of the American industrial working class in the 1930s, historians (and many contemporary observers) have underestimated or ignored the religious component of labor activism in this era. In fact, many labor historians have argued that workers could not have formed successful industrial unions without first severing their religious ties. Heineman disputes this, arguing that there would have been no steelworkers union without Pittsburgh Catholics such as James Cox, Patrick Fagan, Carl Hensler, Phil Murray, and Charles Owen Rice. He presents a complex portrait of American Catholicism in which a large number of activist priests and laity championed a distinctly Catholic vision of social justice. This vision was anti-communist, anti-fascist, and anti-laissez faire. These Catholics, in turn, helped to make the Democratic Party and the CIO powerful organizations. A Catholic New Deal shows conclusively the important role that religion played in the history of organized labor in America.
Subject Congress of Industrial Organizations (U.S.) -- History.
Labor -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh -- Religious aspects -- Christianity -- History -- 20th century.
Church and social problems -- Catholic Church -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh -- History -- 20th century.
Depressions -- 1929 -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh.
New Deal, 1933-1939 -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh.
Social reformers -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh -- History -- 20th century.
Anti-communist movements -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh -- History -- 20th century.
Catholic Worker Movement -- History -- 20th century.
ISBN 027101895X (alk. paper)
0271018968 (paperback: alk. paper)