Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty

  • by Kate Hennessy
  • Narrated by Randye Kaye
  • 13 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Dorothy Day (1897-1980) was a prominent Catholic, writer, social activist, and cofounder of a movement dedicated to serving the poorest of the poor. Her life has been revealed through her own writings as well as the work of historians, theologians, and academics. What has been missing until now is a more personal account from the point of view of someone who knew her well.
Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty is a frank and reflective, heartfelt and humorous portrayal as written by her granddaughter, Kate Hennessy. Dorothy Day challenges ideas of plaster saints and of saintly women. Day is an unusual candidate for sainthood. Before her conversion, she lived what she called a "disorderly life", during which she had an abortion and then gave birth to a child out of wedlock. After her conversion she was both an obedient servant and a rigorous challenger of the church. She was a prolific writer whose books are still widely read. While tenderly rendered, this account will show her as driven to do good but dogmatic, loving but judgmental, in particular with regards to her only daughter, Tamar. She was also full of humor and laughter and could light up any room she entered.


What the Critics Say

"A rare glimpse into the life of one of America's most revered social activists.... Fascinating, well-told, candid, and tender." (Kirkus)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great content.HORRIBLE Narration. Cannot listen.

What disappointed you about Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty?

Heard about Kate Hennessy's book on NPR's Fresh Air. Super excited to listen, moved by the faith and works of Dorothy Day. Overwhelmed by the single worst choice of narration I could imagine. The depth and breadth of Dorothy Day, her work, her voice, and the writing of Ms. Hennessy were lost. Completely. Utterly. Totally. I had to stop after 20 minutes. Unbelievably honeyed, singsong, grating, overly dramatic; a cross between the voice telling you the subway is coming, a Google Maps voice, and a poorly cast rendition of the original Stepford Wives film. Here is an individual of such soul, groundedness, faith, courage, and character, drowned out by a voice so suburban, Wonderbread, out-of-character, and read like every single line was the most important line ever, and that the audience was made up of kindergartners for storytime. Joan Cleaver had more soul. Waste of money. Bought the book. Hoping to get an audio refund.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Worst ever. Truly terrible. If my eardrums could bleed, this would do it.

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- Christian

A very human saint

Would you consider the audio edition of Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty to be better than the print version?

No. They each have merit.

What other book might you compare Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty to and why?

Dwight D Eisenhower: In war and Peace

What about Randye Kaye’s performance did you like?

Beautiful voice to listen to

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?


Any additional comments?

This book brings a wonderful person to life. Her autobiography is good, she was being as truthful as she could, but this one brings into focus her humanity and her love and her errors. I feel better about my life errors knowing that such a great soul experienced the same.

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- Timothy J. Gannon

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-24-2017
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio