The years 1895-1900 were years of crisis in American Catholic history. The author has made a scholarly study of the events, ideas and personalities involved in that crisis and has thus added to our knowledge of a period about which little is known with accuracy, if at all, by most people, Catholic and non-Catholic, historical-minded or not. The book deals with the matter of the heresy of ""Americanism"" condemned by Leo XIII and with such outstanding personalities as Archbishop Ireland, Archbishop Gibbons, Bishop McQuaid and Isaac Hecker, the founder of the Paulists. The author distinguishes a number of different meanings that the term, Americanism, can have in a Catholic context and seems to favor the opinion that Americanism in the heretical sense was probably never held by any Catholic formally. An Essay on Sources and the text of Leo XIII's condemnation, ""Testem Benevolentiae"", are included in the work. The text is interesting, though repetitious in parts, but obviously the fruit of much careful scholarly labor.