RIGHT REVEREND NEW DEALER JOHN A. RYAN by Francis L. Broderick

RIGHT REVEREND NEW DEALER JOHN A. RYAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a ""religious"" book fortunately tempered by its subject. A wholesale admiration of Msgr. John Ryan, it is written indiscriminately though it is scholarly in documentation. Its weakness lies in analysis and spectrum. Msgr. Ryan was a turbulent man who faced hostile worlds all about him in his search for social justice. Among the American Catholic clergy he was the first, strongest, and last to do so. Beginning his mature life at the turn of the century he engaged in every progressive measure now in the history books. His life was thus paradox and conflict: a Catholic fighting the Socialists singlehanded yet maintaining their program on concretes; a radical against the conservatism of the Church yet maintaining its claim in religion. He was fortunate enough, at the end, to see some of his ideas incorporated in the social revolution of the New Deal and his own elevation in the Church hierarchy. He was, therefore, a success in both worlds. Nonetheless, he lived in the great times of social revolt and he proved to be mighty small cheese between the bread hunks of Debs and Haywood here and a ""certain"" trio, there, in Russia. Within the American Catholic world Msgr. Ryan has become its biggest ornament in its claim to a part in social justice. This the author tells us well. Had the approach been less partisan we might have perceived the greater man. This is a book all mature Catholics will read ""devotionally""; non-Catholics who refuse to do so will be cheating on their history lessons.

Pub Date: Feb. 11th, 1962
Publisher: Macmillan