Mathew’s Passion

Father Mathew’s Crusade by John F. Quinn

Father Mathew’s Crusade: Temperance in Nineteenth-Century Ireland and Irish America
University of Massachusetts Press, 2002
(256 pages, $20.95, paperback)

reviewed by Mike Aquilina

Take heart, culture warriors. If you think you can’t change public opinion or widespread vices—never mind city hall—read John F. Quinn’s excellent study of the nineteenth-century Irish temperance preacher Father Theobald Mathew. In Ireland in the 1830s, per capita annual consumption of beer and whiskey hovered around 3.5 gallons of each. In 1825, when a temperance group in Ulster tried to limit the city’s butchers to three glasses of whiskey a day, “most found the rule too burdensome . . .

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Mike Aquilina is vice president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology (www.salvationhistory.com) and a general editor of The Catholic Vision of Love catechetical series.

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