Navigating the Future

A People Adrift
The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in America
by Peter Steinfels
Simon and Schuster, $26, 376 pp.

A People Adrift argues that American Catholics are all at sea. If their great ship has lost its masts and compass, good navigators and shipwrights like Peter Steinfels must get busy to prevent a shipwreck. He is more successful than most analysts of post-Vatican II decline because he manages to go beyond the familiar criticisms made over and over again by the Catholic left and right. The left sees Vatican II and its aftermath as stronger on promise than...

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About the Author

Patrick Allitt is associate professor of history at Emory University and author of Catholic Converts: British and American Intellectuals Turn to Rome (Cornell University Press).

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