American Catholics: A History



This comprehensive survey of Catholic history in what became the United States spans the period from the arrival of the first Spanish missionaries to the present. Distinguished historian Leslie Tentler focuses on Catholics' participation in American politics and Catholic intellectual life in this engaging, up-to-date account of the history of American Catholicism.

Product Details

$30.00  $27.60
Yale University Press
Publish Date
April 21, 2020
6.5 X 1.3 X 9.4 inches | 1.7 pounds
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About the Author

Leslie Woodcock Tentler is professor emerita in the department of history at the Catholic University of America and the author of Catholics and Contraception: An American History.


"Tentler does justice to James Joyce's quip that Catholicism means '"here comes everybody."' This is the story of everybody--lay people, sisters, priests--who was part of the church in the United States, a story insightfully analyzed and admirably told. A definitive synthesis." --James M. O'Toole, author of The Faithful

"Tentler's talents as a historian and writer are on abundant display in this beautifully crafted chronicle of almost five centuries of Catholics' experience in America. Readers will appreciate Tentler's candor about the myriad challenges facing the church, while many will find comfort in her cautious optimism that the same elements that enriched the Catholic past may yet redeem its future."--Kathleen Sprows Cummings, author of A Saint of Our Own

"American Catholics is a masterful study of U.S. Catholicism that will immediately engage readers. This meticulously researched, comprehensive history captures the rich diversity and complexity of a church and its people that have played an important role in the broader history of the United States."--Margaret M. McGuinness, author of Called to Serve: A History of Nuns in America
"Elegantly written, American Catholics is a thrilling achievement. No better introduction to the current fraught moment in American Catholic history exists and none could be more necessary."-- John T. McGreevy, author of American Jesuits and the World

"Whether unpacking the intricacies of the colonial age or the era of the sex abuse crisis, American Catholics is resplendent with insight. This is the finest, most-up to-date and sophisticated treatment available. It will be the go-to volume for a generation of readers."-- James P. McCartin, author of Prayers of the Faithful