Marquette University Press is pleased to reissue William Miller’s pioneering history of the Catholic Worker movement. Originally published thirty years ago, it was the first book to draw upon the movement’s archives at Marquette University, to which Dorothy Day had granted Miller access soon after the records’ arrival in March of 1962. Subsequently, works by Miller and other scholars (including his students) have augmented our knowledge of the Catholic Worker’s history, major figures, philosophical and spiritual underpinnings, and present ministries. There are now over 150 Catholic Worker communities spread across the United States and in Australia, Canada, Europe, Mexico, and New Zealand.
A Harsh and Dreadful Love remains, to quote Daniel Berrigan, a “masterful and warm-hearted” account of the Worker movement from its origins in 1933 through the tumult of the sixties. For James Murray, writing in The Universe (Manchester, England), the book revealed “another America set over against the America of the inflationary dollar and the inflationary lie. That America is the America of The Catholic Worker and the best hope of the world.” Readers may find that these words still apply.— Phillip M. Runkel, Archivist Raynor Memorial Libraries Marquette University