Theodore Maynard is one of the outstanding Catholic historians. We matter what period or country he is dealing with, he above competence in historical research. But he always writes as a Catholic. He leaves his readers in no doubt on that seers. The present volume deals with the relationship of the Catholic Church to the American idea and ideal -- generally described by such terms as ""freedom"" and ""democracy"". In writing this comprehensive historical survey the author is on the defensive, far he is smarting under the allegation that the Catholic Church is a menace to our freedom. Maynard's thesis is that just the opposite is the case -- that the Catholic Church has made and is making a great contribution to the American way of life. He traces the development of Catholicism in this country from its insignificant beginnings in colonial days, through the Revolution and the early days of the Republic up to our own day. A large segment of the book deals with the large immigrant groups through which the Catholic Church grew to such numerical strength and influence. Especial attention is paid to the Irish, the Germans, the Italians and the Poles who make up the great body of Catholics. Maynard points out that the contribution of the church in the Americanization of these and similar groups has been noteworthy. He deals with the problem of the parenhial school and discusses frankly the issues raised by the relationship of the Church to American politics and American culture. While admitting that America is still a ""Protestant country"", Maynard a dim view of the strength of the Protestant churches either as a religious force as a support to American ideals and institutions. This is a book which will please Catholic readers. Others with a few exceptions will find it interesting and will grant the absence of polemics.