Kansas City: (Sheed Andrews and Mcmeel, Inc, 1977) 120pp.
World estimates on the numbers of members of different religious dominations are hard to figure and must always be taken with a grain of salt. It is however, widely accepted that Catholicism is certainly the largest Christian faith worldwide and quite probably the largest single religious faith, with only Islam as a possible competitor. In the United States however, a country largely founded on the ideas of Protestantism this is not the case. Though still making up a large percentage of the population at approximately twenty-five percent, the combined Protestants denominations account for more than double their Catholic counterparts. According to Andrew M. Greeley, author of An Ugly Little Secret this difference in populations and attitudes has caused waves of anti-Catholic sentiment since the country's inception and up through the present day, and this prejudice is the topic of his book. .
Dr. Greeley is a Catholic priest and professor of sociology at the University of Chicago and the University of Arizona. He is also a Research Associate at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. He has written many scholarly articles on topics of religion, sociology, and politics and writes a weekly column for the Chicago Sun-Times, he has also been awarded numerous honorary degrees from many prestigious universities. The basis of his book is that though a large percentage of the United States population is Catholic, and most noticeably Polish, Irish, and Italian they are under represented in intellectual circles, if not in economic ones. He divides the book into 7 chapters, which deal with his idea of the three reasons that this prejudice exists: ignorance, residual bias, and inattention.
Dr. Greeley is a respected scholar and upon reading his book it becomes obvious he is also a skilled writer. His arguments are very persuasive and keep the reader turning pages even though the subject matter is rather dry and probably not of great interest to most people.