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God, Country, Notre Dame: The Autobiography…

God, Country, Notre Dame: The Autobiography of Theodore M. Hesburgh (edition 1990)

by Theodore M. Hesburgh (Author)

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Title:God, Country, Notre Dame: The Autobiography of Theodore M. Hesburgh
Authors:Theodore M. Hesburgh (Author)
Info:Doubleday (1990), Edition: 1st, 331 pages
Collections:Favorites, Your library
Tags:Memoir, Roman Catholicism

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God, Country, Notre Dame: The Autobiography of Theodore M. Hesburgh by Theodore M. Hesburgh



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An unexpectedly good memoir by one of the past presidents of the University of Notre Dame. This book has everything a writer (and coauthor) should do. Short chapters, focused attention on each subject of the chapter, and a wide range of experiences with sometimes noteworthy people. This was the perfect book for me personally to read but I'm unsure how interesting it would be to other readers. In fact, I would have to assume that it wouldn't be very interesting to others unless they were Roman Catholic, acquainted with higher education, world affairs, and US Cold War foreign policy. I gather most people might not read the whole book but might skim through parts of it. I, personally, almost never do that but I have on rare ocassions. The title comes from a door inscription above one chapel at the University Notre Dame. I was interested in Hesburgh since I had read that he flew in a SR-71 Blackbird which was the United States follow up plane to the recon U-2 Lady Dragon. Hesbburgh describes this flight in detail and was one of the best parts of the book. So Hesburgh, without disclosing the full top secret performance capablilities of the SR-71 had to become astronaut qualified since the ship flies at higher altitudes. This crew seat was approved by President Carter. He was not so qualified by NASA, but by the US Air Force. He flew Mach 3 (3xs the speed of sound) making him the fastest clergy person to travel in the whole universe (after Jesus' ascencion to heaven). He speaks kindly of all the US presidents he came into contact with (Ike, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter). He says he was against the Vietnam War but liked Johnson as he worked for civil rights legislation (Hesburgh worked on the US Civil Rights Commission and pushed for the US Voting Act). In Hesburgh's view, this perception of his was legitimate. It was also the Democrat party philosophy that war could be waged only if civil rights were advanced. There came a point where even Democrats turned against the war. In the process, he, LB Johnson buried a whole generation of American males fighting a war LBJ had no intention of winning. Hesburgh turns from the Vietnam War to his own work on Nuclear DIsarmament with the UN on behalf of the Vatican. A worthwhile read on various levels by anyone, including openminded nonCatholics. Hesburgh calls himself a "reasonable liberal" and his book describes fairly accurately what that means. ( )
  sacredheart25 | Nov 14, 2017 |
2940 God, Country, Notre Dame, by Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C. with Jerry Reedy (read 28 Dec 1996) This book of memories was published in 1990. The author was president of Notre Dame from 1952 to 1987, and I found the book unfailingly interesting. This book is very upbeat, and one cannot help but be impressed by how much Father Hesburgh (the name is Luxemburger!) did in his years since his 1943 ordination. I am tremendously impressed. The book is very easy to read. He says little good about Pope Pius XII, but says good things about Pope Paul VI. I am sure Pope John Paul II is a cross to him, though he doesn't say so. He reminds me a little of Archbishop Ireland: not very modest, but a doer. ( )
1 vote Schmerguls | Jan 22, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0268010382, Hardcover)

I have traveled far and wide, far beyond the simple parish I envisioned as a young man. My obligation of service has led me into diverse yet interrelated roles: college teacher, theologian, president of a great university, counselor to four popes and six presidents. Excuse the list, but once called to public service, I have held fourteen presidential appointments over the years, dealing with the social issues of our times, including civil rights, peaceful uses of atomic energy, campus unrest, amnesty for Vietnam offenders, Third World development, and immigration reform. But deep beneath it all, wherever I have been, whatever I have done, I have always and everywhere considered myself essentially a priest. —from the Preface

"Father Hesburgh should be on almost everyone’s list of the most influential figures in American higher education over the past few decades. In these fascinating memoirs, he chronicles the transformation of Notre Dame from a somewhat mediocre midwestern university into a major national teaching and research institution. As president of Notre Dame for 35 years, he used that position as a platform to argue the truly critical issues not only within the academy, but outside as well. The chapters on his involvement with the Civil Rights movement and criticism of early Vatican policy on academic freedom at Catholic universities are most compelling. Recommended for all readers, especially in these days of seeming cynicism and doubt." —Library Journal

"William F. Buckley might disagree, but the former university president is clear on the three most important things in life." —_New York Magazine_

"Father Hesburgh says that each one of us can do something effective in the cause of a better world. God, Country, Notre Dame itself embodies an obvious refutation of the apathetic notion that 'in the modern world one person cannot make a difference'." —Commonweal

"The temptation is to subtitle this book, 'Adventures of Superpriest.' If Father Hesburgh made it all up, it would still be a wonderful story, a compendium of what-ifs . . . its warmth and humanity are infectious, and most readers will not have the nerve to fight off the pleasure of going along." —Chicago Tribune

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:19 -0400)

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