Richard John Neuhaus

A Life in the Public Square

Publisher: Image
A brilliant biography of one of the intellectual mavericks of 20th Century Catholicism.


     Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009) was one of the most influential figures in American public life from the Civil Rights era to the War on Terror. His writing, activism, and connections to people of power in religion, politics, and culture secured a place for himself and his ideas at the center of recent American history. William F. Buckley, Jr. and John Kenneth Galbraith are comparable -- willing controversialists and prodigious writers adept at cultivating or castigating the powerful, while advancing lively arguments for the virtues and vices of the ongoing American experiment. But unlike Buckley and Galbraith, who have always been identified with singular political positions on the right and left, respectively, Neuhaus' life and ideas placed him at the vanguard of events and debates across the political and cultural spectrum. For instance, alongside Abraham Heschel and Daniel Berrigan, Neuhaus co-founded Clergy Concerned About Vietnam, in 1965. Forty years later, Neuhaus was the subject of a New York Review of Books article by Garry Wills, which cast him as a Rasputin of the far right, exerting dangerous influence in both the Vatican and the Bush White House. This book looks to examine Neuhaus's multi-faceted life and reveal to the public what made him tick and why.

PRAISE FOR

"Deeply researched, lucidly written." – New York Times

"In Richard John Neuhaus: A Life in the Public Square, Randy Boyagoda captures his subject’s deep sense of vocation and the complexity of his personality, offering a comprehensive biography and, along the way, a thoughtful introduction to some of the 'culture wars' of the past several decades." – Wall Street Journal

"[A] stellar biography." – Publishers Weekly

"Boyagoda dispassionately describes this fascinating and active life, and he manages to blend skills as a folksy storyteller, researcher and unbiased historian, providing a biography that is balanced, interesting and relevant. A useful, provocative spotlight on one of the leading lights of the 20th century." – Kirkus 

"[A] page-turner." – National Review  

"Boyagoda’s biography is an invaluable account of the political and ecclesiastical controversies in which Neuhaus played a central, influential and controversial role." America Magazine

"A wonderful biography." − Raymond Arroyo, New York Times bestselling author and host, EWTN's The World Over

"Boyagoda persuasively argues that Neuhaus was a charismatic leader and original thinker whose contributions to American culture and politics make him someone worth knowing about." − American Conservative

"Boyagoda’s luminously intelligent study of the man makes clear that Richard John Neuhaus — however one regards his politics — deserved his place in a long line of memorable American preacher politicians." − National Post

"Neuhaus was a hugely influential figure, and Boyagoda tells his story with novelistic empathy and narrative panache." − The Globe and Mail

"Boyagoda found the Neuhaus I knew, complete with all the man’s winsome qualities and not a few of his contradictions. Not surprisingly, he also revealed facets of the man I could never guess." − Russell E. Saltzman, Aleteia

"And up until now, no one has offered a more credible, careful, and colorful biography of this convert to Catholicism. " Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York, author of True Freedom
 
"Thorough, vivid, and keenly understanding of the interplay of personality, faith, and cultural context, Boyagoda's biography of Neuhaus does justice to this man of faith." – Carl A. Anderson, Supreme Knight, Knights of Columbus

"Until his death in 2009, Father Richard John Neuhaus was a powerhouse in American public life and a monument in American Catholic history...Randy Boyagoda, an extraordinary author best known for his work in fiction, knew that someone had to tell Fr. Neuhaus’ story — and that it deserved to be told well." − CatholicVote.org




From the Hardcover edition.