“I picked this book up during a spare hour—and hours later have scarcely been able to get back to anything else. This is a charming, bittersweet, witty, evocative, even romantic reminiscence of a wonderful life, teeming with children, penury, wild trips to Europe, sudden (and immense) success in writing (after many, many rejections), the love of a good woman—and her common sense, besides—and an incisive record of an amazing stretch of years from the Depression and World War II through Vatican Council II, and on into our own new century. Be prepared to weep a little, and laugh a little—it ought to be a movie. McInerny’s masterpiece!” — Michael Novak, George Frederick Jewett Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
“Here is a memoir that is more than a chronicle of a full life lived within a Catholic intellectual milieu. With unique literary skills and the wisdom of seventy-five years, McInerny enlivens and interprets the major intellectual events of his time, delving into the past to understand the present. The result is the kind of book that future historians of culture will regard as a primary source. Modest and unassuming, McInerny fails to do justice to his own role in the intellectual life of the Church, a role as important as that of Chesterton and Belloc in a previous generation.” — Jude P. Dougherty, Dean Emeritus, School of Philosophy, The Catholic University of America
With I Alone Have Escaped to Tell You, Ralph McInerny—distinguished scholar, mystery writer, editor, publisher, and family man—delivers a thoroughly engaging memoir. In the course of his recollections, McInerny describes his childhood in Minnesota; his grammar school and seminary education, with his decision to leave the path toward ordination; his marriage to his beloved Connie and their active family life and travels; and his life as a fiction writer. We learn of his career as a Catholic professor of philosophy at Notre Dame, his views on the Catholic Church, his experiences as an editor and publisher of Catholic magazines and reviews, his involvement with the International Catholic University, and his thoughts on other Catholic writers. Part homage to his academic home for the last half century and part appreciation of the many significant friendships he has fostered over his life, McInerny’s reminiscences beautifully convey his lively interest in the world and his gift for friendship and collegiality.
Written in his characteristically elegant style, by turns charming, poignant, humorous, and revealing, I Alone Have Escaped to Tell You will delight McInerny’s many devoted readers.
“What makes Mr. McInerny’s autobiography worth reading . . . are all his other careers. A professor at Notre Dame for 50 years, he has published academic works from his 1961 Logic of Analogy to his 1990 Handbook for Peeping Thomists, making him the nation’s most prominent scholar of medieval philosophy. Along the way, Mr. McInerny was a leader in the movement that turned Catholics into vital intellectual figures for modern conservatism.” — The Wall Street Journal
“McInerny relives a world very familiar to a generation of educated Catholics who found rational and emotional support for every social and moral challenge that life in America presented. He is the Catholic Huck Finn, guided through an adventurous intellectual life by the clear and unfailing light of reason as presented so clearly by the philosophy that supports his faith.” — American Catholic Studies
“McInerny describes his studies in philosophy and provides a lucid explanation for lay people of how modern philosophers have lost their way. He discusses the great work done by Vatican II and how it has, in some sense, lost its way by an emphasis on the ‘spirit’ ignoring the texts themselves. . . This book is recommended to all readers, especially those interested in the paths taken by Vatican II and modern philosophy." — Catholic Library World
Included in University Press Books Selected for Public and Secondary School Libraries for 2007 by the American Library Association