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All Is Grace: A Biography of Dorothy Day

4.47  ·  Rating Details  ·  79 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Dorothy Day (1897-1980), founder of the Catholic Worker movement, and one of the most prophetic voices in the American Catholic church, has recently been proposed as a candidate for canonization. In this lavishly illustrated biography, Jim Forest provides a compelling portrait of her heroic efforts to live out the radical message of the gospel for our time. A journalist an ...more
Paperback, 344 pages
Published May 15th 2011 by Orbis Books
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P.J. Sullivan
An excellent introduction to Dorothy Day. Better than her autobiography for three reasons: 1) It covers her entire life, not just her early years. 2) It covers all aspects of her life, not just her religious conversion. 3) It draws on all her writings, public and private, including her recently-released diaries. It is detailed without being boring, personal without being biased.

For those already familiar with her, this is an excellent recap. It clarifies things and fills in the gaps nicely. Year
Stephen Hayes
Sep 28, 2015 Stephen Hayes rated it it was amazing
A couple of years ago I read Love is the measure by Jim Forest, the biography of Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker movement, and I wrote a review of it, which I posted on my blog, here.

All is grace is a revised and updated version of Love is the measure, based on more sources, including Dorothy Day's letters and diaries. I have little to add to my original review, other than to say that this one is bigger and better and even more worth reading. Dorothy Day, and anarchist, pacifist and
Matthew Antosh
Jul 26, 2012 Matthew Antosh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: activism
I very much enjoyed this book. My favorite part was the chapters on the Catholic Workers movement's active involvement in labour struggles, particularly the striking workers on the waterfront and the role Catholicism played in the United Farm Workers strikes/boycotts. I think people often see the Catholic Worker Movement as well meaning Christians who fed the poor and had farming communes, but in the end it's great to read that they had a systemic critique of the social and political system and ...more
Charles Wilson
Oct 18, 2015 Charles Wilson rated it really liked it
All I knew about Dorothy Day before reading this book is that Pope Francis had mentioned her along with Thomas Merton as a pivotal religious figure in the American 20th century. Now that I know her better, I can see why they want her to be sainted. This woman deliberately chose to live a life of poverty alongside the needy and fought relentlessly for the underdog in the name of Christ. We should all be so dedicated. The book embarrassed me that I don't do more in the way of social justice and sh ...more
Mar 20, 2016 Allison rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book that would appeal to anyone interested in 20th century history, women's history, sainthood, social justice, the labor and peace movements. It is the biography of an extraordinary woman who grew up poor and spent her life in service to people in poverty. At times, it felt Like a who's who of American history in terms of the people Day encountered during her journey. Written in a simple and deeply compelling style - kind of like Day herself! I'm only wondering why the auth ...more
Jun 03, 2016 Kathleen rated it liked it
Comprehensive book about an amazing woman. An avid traveler from a young age (born in 1897), Dorothy led a surprisingly bohemian life until converting to Catholicism at age 30, following the birth of her illegitimate daughter. The book details her action to oppose hunger & homelessness during the Great Depression, military involvement in WWII, communist persecution during the Red Scare, abuse of Hispanic farm laborers in CA, nuclear proliferation, war in Vietnam, segregation and racism durin ...more
Whitney Stohr
Jan 08, 2016 Whitney Stohr rated it it was amazing
An excellent biography about a remarkable woman, an American woman who lived in our own time. It is always refreshing to read about women, especially lay women, who have contributed so much to the church and society. Whatever our religious or spiritual preferences, her lifetime work and legacy is an example for us all.
Trishulananda Paul McMullen
Jun 22, 2016 Trishulananda Paul McMullen rated it it was amazing
Great book, very thoughtfully composed, giving an insight into the social conditions and the political climate of the period between the two world wars and up to Dorothy's death in 1980. Also contains many inspirational quotations and accounts to whet the appetite of those in search of a path to Social Justice.
Feb 11, 2015 Riley rated it liked it
There has long seemed to be a battle between the conservative Catholic church and its social justice side. Dorothy Day very much on the later wing, spending most of her life helping the destitute. I have zero religious feeling myself, but her example still is a powerful one.
Lucy Pollard-Gott
Jul 27, 2013 Lucy Pollard-Gott rated it it was amazing
If you are not acquainted with the life of Dorothy Day (1897-1980), this book is a wonderful introduction, rich in quotations from her writings to give a true picture of her evolution of thought, faith, and work. She emerges as real and imperfect, exemplary and inspiring: as an American, as a Christian, as a human. She entitled her autobiography "The Long Loneliness" so she did not purvey illusions about the sacrifices entailed in her call to serve the poor as one of them. One person said of her ...more
Jan 23, 2013 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookshelf
Dorothy Day was a very interesting paradox of values and commitments during a strange, old-fashioned time in the Catholic Church, Basically a communist (small "c") unwed Mother with no real visible means of support who really did give the poor a helping hand. The writing style is somewhat choppy. It feels like Jim Forest sat down with a yellow legal pad and wrote a section at a time in freestyle. I did mot really like the book that much but I am glad I know more about this amazing woman.
Nov 03, 2011 Maria rated it it was amazing
As a former Catholic worker, I was very interested to hear about this book. I did not read the previous versions of this book which is fine since this version contains many previously unpublished excerpts from Dorothy's writings. It also contains many lovely photographs. My only quibbles with the book is that the page layout could be better. Also, an important work such as this should be in hardback.
I am really enjoying this. I had a long weekend at the beach to begin it, and I'm so glad I did! It is full of beautiful pictures and very interesting history about what made Dorothy Day tick, and what went into the making of this radical woman.
Kylie Martens
Jun 03, 2014 Kylie Martens rated it it was amazing
I have always loved the original version of this book. It was so good to read it again and to enjoy the extra photos and excerpts from Dorothy's diaries as well. Inspiring and fascinating.
Feb 20, 2013 Mike rated it it was amazing
Wonderful biography of a wonderful woman. Lavishly illustrated throughout. This would serve as good introduction to Dorothy Day for those wanting to know about her.
Jan 13, 2013 Mary rated it it was amazing
An incredible read! I could not put it down. Weather you are Catholic or not, you will find this woman's life inspiring!
Judith Guyot
This is certainly a comprehensive book. Not a detail of her remarkable life left out.

It's worth the wade through.
Feb 18, 2013 Therese rated it it was amazing
So glad I read this...a very well rounded portrayal of an amazing life.
Feb 10, 2013 Jan rated it it was amazing
The best biography of Dorothy Day I have read. The photos are very good.
Lee F.
Aug 12, 2011 Lee F. rated it really liked it
Certainly made me think.....
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