Patrick JORDAN (ed.).  Hold Nothing Back: Writings by Dorothy Days.  Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2016, pp. 128. $14.95 softcover ISBN 978-0-8146-4655-7; $11.99 eBook ISBN 978-0-8146-4680-9. Reviewed by Meg Wilkes KARRAKER, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN 55105.


Patrick Jordan has collected from diverse sources nineteen essays of the writings of Dorothy Day (1897-1980). The subjects of these essays range from Day’s reflections on her personal life (e.g., “Guadalupe”) to her devotion to social justice (e.g., “For the Truly Poor”) and the harsh realities of social action (e.g., “We Plead Guilty”) through “A Reminiscence at 75”. And while a teacher could gather these essays on her own, having them compiled into a single (and affordable – our students thank you!) volume makes them more readily accessible.

The essays are arranged chronologically, so we can travel across Day’s life, perhaps considering nuances in the development of her theology and her vision. (A brief biographical timeline would be helpful for the reader less familiar with Day’s life and work.) Of note, this book includes three features that set it apart.  First, the Foreword is authored by Kate Hennessy, Day’s youngest granddaughter. Second, editor Jordan, who knew Day during last twelve years of her life, enriches his Preface with additional biographical context. Finally, too often missing in collections of essays, Jordan provides the reader with a useful index.

In addition to students of religion, social movements, and gender, Hold Nothing Back will be of interest to community groups on journeys toward social justice,

Jordan is the author or editor of two books on Dorothy day and serves on the advisory board of the Dorothy Day Guild. He has had editorial positions with The Catholic Worker and Commonweal.