Trim: 6⅜ x 9½
978-0-7391-6594-2 • Hardback • December 2011 • $133.00 • (£102.00)
978-0-7391-6596-6 • eBook • December 2011 • $126.00 • (£97.00)
Thomas G. Welsh, PhD is an independent scholar, community organizer, and journalist based in Youngstown, Ohio.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Rise of a Parochial School System
Chapter 3: "The Immaculate": One School's Experience
Chapter 4: Urban Exodus: Depopulation and Urban Parish Schools
Chapter 5: Demographic Change and Urban Parish Schools
Chapter 6: Out of These Ashes: Vatican II and Catholic Identity
Chapter 7: A House Divided: Conclusions
The story of America's urban Catholic elementary schools in the latter stages of the 20th century is, to a considerable extent, one of decline and demise. Thomas G. Welsh has told the story of those schools in one of America's cities—Youngstown, Ohio—and he has done so with thoroughness and understanding. I highly recommend the book to anyone interested in understanding the complex social forces that enveloped those schools that led to their closure.
— Thomas C. Hunt, University of Dayton
Closing Chapters is far more than a history of Youngstown and its parish grade schools. This is a well-researched study of the complex forces behind urban change in the decades after 1960—the impact of deindustrialization, surburbanization, changing attitudes about education, the divisions among American Catholics, the tensions in society between white and black residents, among classes and ethnic groups. Thoughtful, well-written, and often moving, this book makes a significant contribution.
— JoEllen Vinyard, Eastern Michigan University
Welsh traces this transformation through seven chapters that articulate the social and demographic changes in Youngstown over the last half of the century. Each chapter provides a distinct element to the tragedy…. Closing Chapters is a powerful scholarly analysis of the negative consequences of social and demographic change. As Catholics became less apprehensive about their place in American society, the case for a separate school system seemed less compelling. Welsh’s book is something of a challenge to other scholars to study the unique and specific contours of the decline of Catholic education in other dioceses over the past half century.
— The Catholic Historical Review