"Continental Ambitions is the book I have been craving for years. It is the first historical study I've ever read that explains my America, in which Catholicism is not marginal and Hispanics are not minor latecomers. Starr's vision is truly continental. For him, the West is not a nineteenth century Yankee frontier but the epic landscape that parallels (and often precedes) Puritan New England as foundational to American identity. Continental Ambitions is not just the history of the Catholic Church in North America but also the untold story of the United States."
- Dana Gioia, Former Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts and Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture, University of Southern California