Closing Chapters

Closing Chapters : Urban Change, Religious Reform, and the Decline of Youngstown's Catholic Elementary Schools, 1960-2006

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Closing Chapters attempts to explain the disintegration of urban parochial schools in Youngstown, Ohio, a onetime industrial center that lost all but one of its eighteen Catholic parochial elementary schools between 1960 and 2006. Through the examination of Youngstown, Welsh sheds light on a significant national phenomenon: the fragmentation of American Catholic identity.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 340 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 27.94mm | 680.39g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0739165941
  • 9780739165942

About Thomas G. Welsh

Thomas G. Welsh, PhD is an independent scholar, community organizer, and journalist based in Youngstown, Ohio.
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Review quote

The story of America's urban Catholic elementary schools in the latter stages of the 20th century is, to a considerable extent, one of decline and demise. Thomas G. Welsh has told the story of those schools in one of America's cities-Youngstown, Ohio-and he has done so with thoroughness and understanding. I highly recommend the book to anyone interested in understanding the complex social forces that enveloped those schools that led to their closure. -- Thomas C. Hunt, University of Dayton Closing Chapters is far more than a history of Youngstown and its parish grade schools. This is a well-researched study of the complex forces behind urban change in the decades after 1960-the impact of deindustrialization, surburbanization, changing attitudes about education, the divisions among American Catholics, the tensions in society between white and black residents, among classes and ethnic groups. Thoughtful, well-written, and often moving, this book makes a significant contribution. -- JoEllen Vinyard, Eastern Michigan University Welsh traces this transformation through seven chapters that articulate the social and demographic changes in Youngstown over the last half of the century. Each chapter provides a distinct element to the tragedy... Closing Chapters is a powerful scholarly analysis of the negative consequences of social and demographic change. As Catholics became less apprehensive about their place in American society, the case for a separate school system seemed less compelling. Welsh's book is something of a challenge to other scholars to study the unique and specific contours of the decline of Catholic education in other dioceses over the past half century. The Catholic Historical Review
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Table of contents

Acknowledgments Dedication Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: Rise of a Parochial School System Chapter 3: "The Immaculate": One School's Experience Chapter 4: Urban Exodus: Depopulation and Urban Parish Schools Chapter 5: Demographic Change and Urban Parish Schools Chapter 6: Out of These Ashes: Vatican II and Catholic Identity Chapter 7: A House Divided: Conclusions Epilogue Bibliography
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