Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access



On October 17, 1926, a young Irish-Catholic priest stood before the altar of his church in Royal Oak, Michigan and delivered a radio sermon. Within a decade, his voice, transmitted by thousands of radios, would be familiar to millions of Americans. Father Charles E. Coughlin had begun a stormy career that would earn him the title "radio priest" and make him one of the most controversial figures to appear on the American political scene in the depression-ridden 1930's.


In this study, I trace the development of Coughlin's disillusionment with the Roosevelt administration, analyze his contribution to the formation of the Union party and his role in the 1936 political campaign, explain the reasons for the failure, and assess its effect on Coughlin's subsequent actions.