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Thomas Merton,(January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968) was an American Catholic writer and mystic. A Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky, he was a poet, social activist, and student of comparative religion. In 1949, he was ordained to the priesthood and given the name Father Louis.Merton wrote more than 70 books, mostly on spirituality, social justice, and a quiet pacifism, as well as scores of essays and reviews. Among Merton's most enduring works is his bestselling autobiography The Seven Storey Mountain (1948), which sent scores of World War II veterans, students, and even teenagers flocking to monasteries across the USand was also featured in National Review's list of the 100 best non-fiction books of the century. Merton was a keen proponent of interfaith understanding.