Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date


Publication Title

American Journal of Education








In Lost Classroom, Lost Community: Catholic Schools’ Importance in Urban America, Margaret F. Brinig and Nicole Stelle Garnett set out to understand how the precipitous loss of urban Catholic schools over the past several decades has affected the social order and social cohesion of the neighborhoods in which these schools once served as community anchors. Fittingly, they begin their exploration with a history of Catholic schools in the United States, from their fledgling and contested beginnings in the nineteenth century to their height in the mid- to late twentieth century. In this condensed but informative historical account, Brinig and Garnett rightly conclude that much of the development of Catholic schools relied on an unsustainable model of a mission-based American Catholic Church aiming to educate ethnic Europeans in Catholic schools staffed by legions of religious sisters who taught for little to, at times, no salary.


Author Posting. © University of Chicago Press 2018. This review is posted here by permission of the University of Chicago Press for personal use, not for redistribution. The review was published in the American Journal of Education, 2018,

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.