Explains the origin of the book as resulting from a desire to explore the historical relationship and interactions between the two very diverse traditions of Catholicism and Americanism, and more specifically, from a need to explore how American culture (defined as those values and beliefs that a group or society uses to identify itself) has shaped American Catholicism. It discusses change in the Catholic church, and the tensions and conflicts that have arisen resulting from this, and from the clash between the American republican model of Catholicism and the traditional European monarchical model. Finally, an outline of the ground covered by the five chapters of the book is given.
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