Tri-Faith America

Tri-Faith America : How Catholics and Jews Held Postwar America to Its Protestant Promise

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President Franklin D. Roosevelt put it bluntly, if privately, in 1942-the United States was "a Protestant country," he said, "and the Catholics and Jews are here under sufferance." In Tri-Faith America, Kevin Schultz explains how the United States left behind this idea that it was "a Protestant nation" and embraced the notion that Protestants, Catholics, and Jews were "Americans all." Schultz describes how the tri-faith idea surfaced after World War I, promoted by public relations campaigns, interfaith organizations, and the government to the extent that by the end of World War II, the idea was becoming widely accepted-particularly in the armed forces, fraternities, neighborhoods, social organizations, and schools. During the Cold War, the public religiosity spurred by the fight against godless communism led to widespread embrace of tri-faith America. Equally important, Schultz shows how Catholics and Jews in the post-World War II era used tri-faith rhetoric to challenge the nation's established moral authority. Indeed, as Americans began vigorously debating the merits of pluralism, they initiated a social and political climate that would pave the way toward the civil rights more

Product details

  • Hardback | 264 pages
  • 162.56 x 236.22 x 25.4mm | 498.95g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195331761
  • 9780195331769

Review quote

For scholars of twentieth-century American Jewish history, this book is a must-read. * American Jewish Archives Journal * Schultz offers a work filled with contradiction, irony, and unintended consequence. It exemplifies good intellectual history. * Religion and Politics * One of the finest studies of twentieth-century religion and politics in America published in the past two decades. * Sociology of Religion * A creatively imagined, subtly rendered narrative...Schultz has produced a terrific, timely book that not only accomplishes its stated goals admirably but also helps us consider anew the character of public life and debate. * Journal of American History * Schultz's work is an important part of recent scholarship...that examines how access to the political, social, and cultural 'mainstream' was expanded during World War II and the postwar period. ...Tri-Faith America is an important work that challenges historians to think more critically about religious and ethnic relations in the postwar period. * Journal of American Ethnic History *show more

About Kevin M. Schultz

Kevin M. Schultz is Assistant Professor of History and Catholic Studies at the University of Illinois at more

Table of contents

Introduction ; Part I: Inventing Tri-Faith America, Ending "Protestant America" ; Chapter 1: Creating Tri-Faith America ; Chapter 2: Tri-Faith America as Standard Operating Procedure ; Chapter 3: Tri-Faith America in the early Cold War ; Part II: The Effects of Tri-Faith America ; Chapter 4: Communalism in a Time of Consensus: Postwar Suburbia ; Chapter 5: A Secular Rationale for Separation: Public Schools in Tri-Faith America ; Chapter 6: Choosing Our Identities: College Fraternities, Choice, and Group Rights ; Chapter 7: Keeping Religion Private (and Off the U.S. Census) ; Chapter 8: From Creed to Color: Softening the Ground for Civil Rights ; Conclusion: The Return of Protestant America? ; Notesshow more

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21 ratings
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1 5% (1)
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