Organized Labor and the Church

Organized Labor and the Church

Reflections of a “Labor Priest”

By George G. Higgins, with William Bole

In this engaging and highly readable work, Msgr. George Higgins—the dean of American Catholic social action—draws on nearly 50 years of direct involvement in the cause of working people and their unions.

Together with his coauthor William Bole, Higgins writes as both eyewitness and seasoned observer. He revisits the significant moments in the 20th century encounter between religion and labor. He introduces us to some of the great labor leaders across the decades: John L. Lewis, Philip Murray, Walter Reuther, George Meany, Cesar Chavez, and others.

But the book is more than a memoir. It is an unabashed apologia for the labor movement at a time when labor has its back against the wall. Higgins presents a case for the enduring relevance of organized labor—to the cause of social justice and to the social mission of the church.

Published by Paulist Press (1993)

Reviews and Praise

“What emerges is a portrait of a man of great accomplishments who has carried out his mission with charm, tact, common sense, and good humor.”
Library Journal.

“Let us beat about no bushes. The authors have given us a book that is the best thing ever written on the subject and … should be required reading in every Catholic college course in social ethics or moral theology.”
John C. Cort, writing in Commonweal magazine

“He has been the defender of our rights and of our unions; but he has never been slow to criticize any union’s conduct that fell short of the moral goals he insisted we share.”
Thomas R. Donahue, former president, AFL-CIO (from the Foreword)

“Not everyone will agree with Msgr. Higgins’s analysis or agenda, but no serious student of the Catholic social tradition can dismiss it. No one makes the case for the Church’s support for the labor movement more clearly than Msgr. Higgins”
Bishop John Ricard, chairman, U.S. Catholic Conference Committee on Domestic Policy

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