The Crimson Bookshelf

EASY ESSAYS By Peter Maurin. New York: Shed and Ward.

As a contributor to the "Catholic Worker," Peter Maurin is one of the most widely read writers of the present day America. The simplicity as well as the uniqueness of his style helps him to be tradily understood in an age when one must write simply and cleverly, if one does not wish to increase the already large volume of literary mystification.

His passion for social justice has provided him with the welcome duty of seeking to apply the Papal Encyclicals to the grave social, economic, and political problems which men are called upon to solve during this epoch of history.

Since Maurin is close to the "people," to the worker and farmers of America, his political ideas often diverge greatly to the left of those held by the hierarchy. He is thus suspect to many an archbishop or vicar-general. Although he is a layman, he seems to remind one of the Dean of Canterbury, of the Established Church, Canon Dick Sheppard, Dr. Reinheld Niebuhr, and Bishop Francis J. McConnell of the Methodist Episcopal Church, for he takes his Christianity just as seriously.

He does not forget that the Founder of the Church was a social reformer who drove the money changers from the Temple and defended fallen women like Mary Magdalene.

The easy Essays are like Scholastic Sententiac arranged on a printed page in a pattern, as follows:


"I Agree.

"1. I agree with seven Bishops

three of whom are Archbishops,

that the Communist criticism

of the rugged individualism

of bourgeois capitalism

is a sound criticism."

Such an arrangement makes for quick understanding of the points which this Catholic Radical wishes to make in their logical order:

"2. I agree with seven Bishops

three of whom are Archbishops,

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