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Just after Thomas Merton's death in 1968, Catholic social activist Catherine de Hueck Doherty wrote to Merton's abbot: "In some strange mysterious way I never quite understood, [he] was in part my spiritual son." The friendship originated when Merton worked at Friendship House in Harlem, and this volume of warm, candid correspondence traces nearly three decades of friendship through thirty-one surviving letters fourteen written by Merton, and seventeen by Doherty. Doherty's previously unpublished letters are now brought together with those of Merton. The exchange reveals Merton's development from a young man searching for his place in God's plan, to a monk seeking God through solitude and work for social justice.