The highly esteemed historian, Magr. John Tracy Ellis, traces the unique career of the renowned churchman John Lancaster Spalding. First Bishop of Peoria, in this absorbing biography. Bishop Spalding was a contemporary and great friend of James Cardinal Gibbons (see p. 380), and his work in furthering Catholic education has not been surpassed. He is regarded as one of the most enlightened social thinkers of the 19th century. It was largely through his efforts that the Catholic University in Washington was founded, and it remains the principal monument to his memory as an educator. Magr. Ellis feels that ""both by the spoken and written word Bishop Spalding earned the distinction of having made the most significant contribution to education of any single member of the American Catholic community."" He spoke out vigorously for higher education for women in a day when few Americans felt women should be given equal advantages for college degrees. He predicted women suffrage, supported labor unions, and advocated sweeping social reforms. In 1902 President Theodore Roosevelt appointed him to the Anthracite Coal Strike Commission for adjudicating the strike of the miners, and Lancaster greatly assisted to effect a compromise settlement. Archbishop Glennon described Bishop Spalding as ""the one Catholic who has best understood the American mind"". Certainly no man gave a more consistent fulfillment to the mandate of Christ that one should let his light shine before the men of his generation. Readers of John Lancaster Spalding can well be grateful to Magr. Ellis for this masterful biographical study of a masterful Catholic Bishop and educator.