Una Cadegan. All Good Books Are Catholic Books: Print Culture, Censorship, and Modernity in Twentieth-Century America (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013) 230 pages.
Una Cadegan’s latest book is the eighth volume of the Cushwa Center Studies of Catholicism in Twentieth-Century America series. She seeks to define the “distinctive literary vision” of Catholic authors between the end of World War I and the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), a period in which modernism dominated literature (2, 6). Cadegan’s analysis revolves around the struggle for contemporary Catholic authors to reconcile their faith with the American literary establishment. These authors were caught between two seemingly immovable entities: the American literary establishment, which according to leading lights like John Dewey and Walter Lippman could not admit Catholicism per se; and institutional Catholicism (60-61). Roman Catholicism, critics claimed, inherently disavowed “a robust defense of democracy and the formation of democratic citizens and a culture of democracy,” while the Holy See conflated literary modernism with a theological trend of the same name that was roundly denounced by Church authorities.