Saturday, May 11, 2013

Recent praise for The Catonsville Nine: A Story of Faith and Resistance in the Vietnam Era

A "remarkable study" showing "rare sensitivity and insight." -- Noam Chomsky, MIT

"Combin[es] a novel's readability with in-depth historical research." -- Publishers Weekly

"A must read for people of any faith" whose author is a "master storyteller." -- Dissident Voice

"Peters has provided readers with the fullest study to date of the ultra-resistance as it played out, beginning with a single draft board action in eastern Maryland in the spring of 1968. Whatever one may think of the Nine's tactics, Peters's compellingly written book will keep their memory alive."  -- Arnold Sparr, St. Francis College, in The Catholic Worker

"Peters has contributed a thorough account of each individual and the events before and after their their ritual napalming of draft records. It is required reading in the growing literature about American religious responses to the Vietnam War."  -- David Settje, Concordia University, in Journal of American History
"A masterful work of history and group biography." -- Joe Tropea, director of "Hit and Stay," in The Baltimore City Paper

A "carefully delivered rendering." -- Robert Cottrell, California State University, Chico, in Choice

"An original, balanced study" that is "objective, well-written and highly interesting from a variety of angles." -- Patrick Henry, Whitman College, on History News Network

"A well-researched, well-told and gripping account of the incident and its aftermath -- exploring the personalities in a way that other accounts have not."  -- The Catholic Review (Baltimore)

"Despair, anger, ecstasy, and determination are the ingredients of Peters' narrative and he combines these ingredients with the skill of a master storyteller.... This is a must read for people of any faith, whether that faith is in a god or in humanity." -- Ron Jacobs, author of The Way the Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground, on

"An excellent book... Careful academic history... For anyone interested in this era of American history, Christian activism, or the Catholic Left, The Catonsville Nine is a very good book."  -- Richard Beck, Abeline Christian University, in Experimental Theology

"The Catonsville Nine is a well-researched, well-written narrative that demonstrates the important role that faith played in the social protest movements of the 1960s. Not only does Peters shed light on the Catonsville Nine, but he also raises the question of how close historians should be to their work and how it impacts the writing." -- Herstory Professor blog

"This is a work of history, not hagiography.  The Berrigans and other activists emerge as flawed enough to be human, and courageous enough to be worthy of the admiration they have often received."  -- Bill Lueders

"Peters shows himself to be a thorough, detail-oriented and entertaining author and historian." -- Catholic News Service

"Meticulously researched, it reads like a thriller.... Shawn Peters' superb account will touch and inspire everyone who cares about peace." -- Activist and author John Dear, S.J.

"An important book." -- Colleen McLean, in Spokane Faith & Values

"Shawn has written a reasonable and balanced account.  As a member of the Baltimore Four, and having lived through these events, I feel that he has done an admirable job....This book is the best that has been penned regarding the Catonsville Nine action -- no question."  -- David Eberhardt (of the Baltimore Four)

"A fascinating new book." -- Matt Rothschild, Editor, The Progressive

"[An] assiduously researched history . . . Peters records with a historian's rigor and the compassionate curiosity of an investigative journalist." -- America Magazine

"A scholarly and readable account of this episode." -- Robert Nowell, in Church Times (U.K.)

Peters "has given us an intriguing story, replete with lessons for resisters of today." -- Rosalie Riegle, in WIN: Through Revolutionary Nonviolence

"I really, really enjoyed this book." -- Tom Hall, WYPR Radio (Baltimore)

A "compelling retelling of this dramatic event from the Vietnam era." -- The Capital Times (Madison, WI)

"A rich and engrossing study" and "a valuable contribution to social and legal history." -- Lawrence Friedman, Stanford University

"Peters has written a complex, gripping account of what led up to the event, the raid itself and its aftermath.  One by one the participants are brought to life....Even for someone like myself, very much an insider, the book has its surprises." -- Jim Forest (of the Milwaukee 14), in Sojourners

"Peters' book adds much to the Vietnam era anti-war history." -- The Notre Dame Review

"An excellent work of history" that "is written in a clear and well-thought-out manner." -- VVA Veteran

"Shawn Francis Peters' telling is as good as it gets.  The book offers a worthy retrospective on a tumultuous and intensely lived time.  I recommend it highly." -- Moni McIntyre, Duquesne University, in Catholic Books Review

"[A] a comprehensive account" and "a readable history." -- Boston Globe

"A story that pulses with energy." -- Zocala Public Square

"The authoritative book on the Catonsville Nine." -- Tripp York, West Virginia Wesleyan College

Discussing religious healing exemptions on WHYY's "Radio Times"

I will be appearing with Dr. Paul Offit (the noted University of Pennsylvania pediatrician) on WHYY's "Radio Times" next Tuesday, May 14, from 10 to 11 a.m. EST. We'll be talking about faith healing and religious exemption laws. Prompted by the recent case involving Herbert and Catherine Schiable, Paul wrote an excellent piece for The Philadelphia Inquirer on Pennsylvania's statutes. (The Schiables were placed on probation in 2002 after their failure to provide medical treatment resulted in the death of their 2-year old son. Multiple news outlets are reporting that the couple now allegedly has lost a second child in similar circumstances.) It's accessible here.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Happy 92nd birthday, Father Daniel Berrigan!

May 9 marks the 92nd birthday of Father Daniel Berrigan, the remarkable Jesuit peace and social justice activist. In writing my book on the Catonsville Nine, I learned so much about Dan's remarkable and inspirational life -- his commitment to the civil rights and antiwar movements, his concerns with poverty, his adamant opposition to militarism and imperialism. I count myself among the many people who have drawn inspiration from how he has lived his faith over nearly a century.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Interview on WYPR's "Maryland Morning" slated for Tuesday, May 7

I'll be talking about my Catonsville Nine book on Tuesday, May 7, at 9:40 a.m. EST with Tom Hall on "Maryland Morning," the excellent morning show on WYPR, the NPR news station in Baltimore. The particulars (including some web-only extras) are accessible here.