Bibliographies Home

General surveys of American Catholic history

These books are overviews of the history of Catholics in the United States.

M. Bunson, Encyclopedia of U.S. Catholic History

Patrick Carey, Catholics in America: A History Updated edition of earlier survey.

Clyde Crews, American And Catholic: A Popular History Of Catholicism In The United States 

R.E. Curran, Shaping American Catholicism: Maryland and New York, 1805-1915. Focuses on Catholicism in two states, but uses them as windows into the overall history of the Church in the U.S.

Jay Dolan, The American Catholic Experience A sweeping and well-crafted survey.

John Tracy Ellis, American Catholicism Ellis was one of the outstanding Catholic historians of the twentieth century; his work, though older, remains a classic.

James Terence Fisher, Catholics in America Fisher's short volume is intended for high school and college courses. It also works well for anyone new to the subject.

James Hennesey, American Catholics : A History of the Roman Catholic Community in the United States This is a full survey—as close to comprehensive as is possible in one volume.

Charles Morris, American Catholic : The Saints and Sinners Who Built America's Most Powerful Church More popularly oriented, Morris's survey is a pleasurable read.

David J. O'Brien, Public Catholicism (Bicentennial History of the Catholic Church in America) More anecdotal and interpretive than comprehensive, O'Brien's work presents important concepts such as "Republican Catholicism."

James O'Toole, The Faithful: A History of Catholics in America  Focuses on lay Catholics, integrating the scholarship of the last two decades in this area.

Joseph Varacalli, The Catholic Experience in America Combines historical survey with sociological and theological analysis.

C. Zehnder [Catholic Schools Textbook Project], From Sea to Shining Sea: The Story of America  This is a handsome and comprehensive textbook for use in Catholic classrooms. Designed for ages 9 to 12.