From Union Square to Rome

By Dorothy Day

 

 

Four To-Be-Read Piles =

Totally Worthy of Your To-Be-Read Pile!

 

Reviewer: Sage Webb

 

Having spent the last couple weeks gut-twisted because of the riots, looting, destruction, and social unrest in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a city I once called home full time (and still call “home”—in some way—often enough), I have to write here of Dorothy Day. Whatever one’s thoughts regarding Christianity, social activism, the Catholic Church, and radical social justice, Dorothy Day provides an example of living out one’s ideals. Once a young writer for radical papers in NYC, Day championed the cause of the homeless, the hungry, the disenfranchised. With Peter Maurin, she founded the Catholic Worker movement in the 1930s and went on to show up on Pope Francis’s 2015 list of great Americans, which included Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

In From Union Square to Rome (published by Orbis Books), Day gives an account of her youthful social activism, her work as a reporter for a socialist paper, the people she knew in the world of radical social-justice work, her time in custody for a sentence stemming from suffragist protesting, her work as a nurse, the birth of her daughter, and her conversion to Catholicism (which would lead her to blend her earlier views with Christianity and found the Catholic Worker movement). The book is written as a sort of “letter of explanation” to Day’s brother, who had his own life on the far Left.

 

Union Square, first released in 1938, does not sit as one of Day’s more popular works, and it lives in the shadow of her later (1952) autobiography The Long Loneliness. It perhaps doesn’t have the deep bass reverberation of Thomas Merton’s Seven Storey Mountain. And Day’s granddaughter Kate Hennessy gives a broader, more comprehensive look at Day’s life in Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty. But in Union Square, Day reminds those on both sides of the political and social spectrum of the common values shared by all humankind . . . and the need for a commitment to this little community on a little planet in a whole lot of black space.

As a Bookshop affiliate, we make money if you buy through that link.

Just FYI.

Read Local, L.L.C., is a small (we hope to grow!) community of book lovers. We review books published by independent/university/small presses and post our reviews and thoughts in an effort to raise awareness of independent-press books. The Read Local, L.L.C., entity is owned by the parent company of Stoneman House Press, L.L.C., and that publisher's work appears on this website (we make money when Stoneman House sells books), but not everyone who writes content for us or participates in our community works for Stoneman House. Aside from Stoneman House, we also have relationships (personal and/or professional) with some of the authors whose books appear here. Some (like Sage Webb) write reviews for us and help lead us (and they make money when their books sell). We note when we have a relationship with a book, publisher, or author. Otherwise, we do not have relationships with the authors and publishers listed here. They appear here only because we liked their books and we like reviewing books. (We will be as transparent as possible when we post here about things in which we have a financial stake. Not just because of regulations like those in Part 255 of Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations, but because we really are here just to have some literary fun.) If you are an author or publisher of a book that appears here, feel free to reach out to us! We'd love to hear from you. We are at readlocalbooks@hotmail.com. And if you are an author or publisher and you would like us to remove your book from our site, just let us know. We are here to serve the literary community. If you have questions, reach out.

(We also love innovative art and photography. Just sayin'.)

© 2018, 2019 , 2020 Read Local, L.L.C.

(All content on this site belongs exclusively to Read Local, L.L.C. No one may copy any portion of this site or its content without express written permission.)

Read Local is a registered service mark with the USPTO.

Read Local, L.L.C., reserves all rights in and to its marks.

Read

Local

®