cover image By Their Works: Profiles of Men of Faith Who Made a Difference

By Their Works: Profiles of Men of Faith Who Made a Difference

Stephen Singular. HarperCollins Publishers, $39.95 (141pp) ISBN 978-0-06-116145-2

In order to protect Catholic interests in a time when they were a repressed religion-victims of forced conversion, governmental persecution and violence-Michael J. McGivney and 11 other Catholic laymen formed the Knights of Columbus in 1882. This book chronicles the impact that the Knights have had on America through the stories and photographs of its members, which include such luminaries as John F. Kennedy and Babe Ruth, as well as lesser-known heroes like Chicago priest Father Thomas A. Mulcrone and Special Olympics athlete Paul Marretti. Looking at the Knights through the lens of the organization's core principles-charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism-members' lives are rendered in short, upbeat profiles that play up public achievements while skipping the negative (Ruth, for instance, seems to have spent so much time helping orphans he never got around to his infamous drinking and womanizing). An illuminating look into a powerful but largely unknown organization, this handsome volume gives the Knights the personal face it deserves.