American Background Books (Lives of Catholic Heroes and Heroines in American History)
Published by P.J. Kennedy & Sons
36 Total Books

American Background Books is a splendid series for readers ten to fourteen dealing with the lives of Catholic men and women who have played an important role in the history of our Continent. Although most of them concern those whose contributions were made to the discovery, exploration and development of the United States, the series also introduces to boys and girls the heroes and heroines of Canada and other countries of North America. Great explorers, colonizers, war heroes, pioneer women and missionaries are among those whose lives and adventures light up the pages of these books.

American Background Books fill a noticeable gap in the shelves of books devoted to American biography. They tell the stories of great men and women of the Catholic Faith, many of whom have been neglected by biographers in general. Without overstressing the religious element of these lives, the Catholic contribution to American history is shown in its true proportions, and faith is revealed as a living element in the principles, undertakings and achievements of each individual.

American Background Books have been written by fine writers eminently qualified to deal with each period and subject. Without departing from the fact, they handle the material in a way that stresses human interest and adventure. These books will foster pride in the American and Catholic heritage and make more vivid some of the most dramatic and exciting episodes in American history.

From Lucrezia Bori of the Metropolitan Opera

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But I’m not Catholic! (or Jewish, or Mormon, or…)
Guest post by Johanna Bittle | October 01, 2018

One of the best ways to discover these pilgrim stories is through books that feature their faith prominently, acknowledging it as a real and driving “why” behind both their devotion to our country and their many contributions to exploration, discovery, medicine, education, innovation, settlement, and statesmanship. I can open my children’s eyes to the lives of many of the Catholics who are an integral part of the fabric of our country, men and women whose names and contributions are either missing from the Landmark and Signature series, or whose stories are told there, but in an incomplete way, without the illuminating context of their faith.

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Books in this Series

Adventurous Lady: Margaret Brent of Maryland
Black Robe Peacemaker: Pierre de Smet
Cavalry Hero: Casimir Pulaski
Chaplain in Gray: Abram Ryan
Charles Carroll and The American Revolution
Charles John Seghers: Pioneer in Alaska
Colonial Governor: Thomas Dongan of New York
Commandant Paul and the Founding of Montreal
Daniel Duluth: Explorer of the Northlands
De Tonti of the Iron Hand and the Exploration of the Mississippi
Don Diego de Vargas: The Peaceful Conquistador
Fanny Allen: Green Mountain Rebel
Father Flanagan: Builder of Boys
The Friar and The Knight: Padre Olmedo and Cortez
General Phil Sheridan and The Union Cavalry
John Fitzgerald Kennedy: Man of Courage
John Hughes: Eagle of the Church
John LaFarge: Gentle Jesuit
Joseph the Huron
Knute Rockne: Football Wizard of Notre Dame
Lucrezia Bori of the Metropolitan Opera
Margaret Haughery: Bread Woman of New Orleans
Mathew Carey: Pamphleteer for Freedom
Mere Marie of New France
Padre Kino and the Trail to the Pacific
Padre Pro: Mexican Hero
Pedro MenÚndez de AvilÚs and the Founding of St. Augustine
Pierre Toussaint: Pioneer in Brotherhood
Princess Isabel of Brazil and the Glittering Pen
Raphael Semmes: Confederate Admiral
Rochambeau and Our French Allies
Rose Greenhow: Confederate Secret Agent
Sidewalk Statesman: Alfred E. Smith
Simon Brute and The Western Adventure
Virgil Barber: New England Pied Piper
William Gaston: Fighter for Justice