Royal Oak, Michigan: The Radio League of The Little Flower, 1932. First edition. Tall octavo (8 3/4 inches tall), original brown and black cloth lettered in silver. Very gentle wear to the front board. About-fine. Item #612
"GOLD AND SILVER, BRICKS AND MORTAR, THESE BECAME OUR GODS AND THESE TOO MANY OF US ADORED" First edition collecting the sermons of the Populist "Radio Priest" in the grim early days of the Great Depression, uncommon in the original Art-Deco binding. This volume captures the fervor and mass appeal of the radio and publishing activities at the Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, Michigan. The centerpiece of the Shrine's missionary efforts was a national radio broadcast, "The Golden Hour," preached by Father Charles E. Coughlin from the pulpit. "The immense size of the audience that listened in on his Sunday afternoon broadcasts testified to his uncanny talent for articulating the fears and suspicions of millions of Americans, both Catholic and otherwise, who felt victimized by the Depression. Coughlin drew on Scripture, the papal social encyclicals, and American populist literature in excoriating the legions of enemies he found responsible for the plight of the poor and wretched" (Thomas Bokenkotter, A Concise History of the Catholic Church). The volume is prefaced with Coughlin's Dedication: "May the message folded away in its pages remind the reader that Christ has not forsaken the multitude and that the principles of Christ's religion will continue to multiply the loaves." Coughlin's wide influence peaked in the middle of the decade and began to wane as he descended into demagoguery and sensationalism. The American hierarchy and the Vatican became increasingly alarmed and Coughlin was eventually silenced by Archbishop Mooney of Detroit. He is little known today, but Father Coughlin represents the enduring appeal of Populism in American civic discourse. A handsome copy illustrating an important moment in the history of American Catholicism. Approbations.