Having just learned from Fordham that my book is now at the printers, I wanted to take a moment to share some advance praise that Excommunicated from the Union has received from two leading historians of religion during the American Civil War.
“A significant contribution to scholarship on both American Catholicism and the American Civil War. Excommunicated from the Union fills a large gap in the literature, offering fresh material on Catholic chaplains, giving valuable attention to both the English and foreign-language Catholic press and drawing provocative conclusions about the war’s impact on anti-Catholic prejudice.”—George Rable, University of Alabama, author of God’s Almost Chosen Peoples: A Religious History of the American Civil War
“In this deeply researched and ably argued book, William Kurtz has re-set the compass on Catholic identity and interest, religion and the Civil War, and much more. With uncommon insight, Kurtz shows that even as the war provided the opportunity for Irish and German Catholics to become “American” by fighting for and supporting the Union war effort, it also divided them as to the social, cultural, and political cost of accepting the dominant Republican and Protestant terms for inclusion in that Union and their own need to maintain the integrity of their faith. By tracking Catholic thinking, behavior, and memory, Kurtz discovers how the war led Catholics to become both more American and more Catholic at the same time. The result is a history of Catholics, and religion, and the war that is more complex and compelling than the commonplaces about the supposed assimilating effects of the war in creating a unified civil religion. In sum, Kurtz’s book is simply the best study of Catholics in/and the war and the way the war affected the place and perception of Catholics in the Union.”—Randall M. Miller, Saint Joseph’s University, author of “Catholic Religion, Irish Ethnicity and the Civil War” (Religion and the American Civil War)
I also am happy to announce that the Nau Center will be hosting an official book launch in late January. I will post more details as they become available.
Finally, I am pleased to say that the Virginia Festival of the Book has selected accepted my book for their 2016 festival. The festival will take place in Charlottesville, VA, from March 16-20, 2016. I will post more details about my book’s panel when they become available.