In this entertaining and timely anthology, nine contemporary Irish
Americans present the stories of nine inspiring Irish immigrants whose
compassion, creativity, and indefatigable spirit helped shape America.
authors here bring to bear their own life experiences as they reflect
on their subjects, in each essay telling a unique and surprisingly
intimate story. Rosie O’Donnell, an adoptive mother of five, writes
about Margaret Haughery, the Mother of Orphans. Poet Jill McDonough
recounts the story of a particularly brave Civil War soldier, and
filmmaker and activist Michael Moore presents the original muckraking
journalist, Samuel McClure. Novelist Kathleen Hill reflects on famed New
Yorker writer Maeve Brennan, and historian Terry Golway examines the
life of pivotal labor leader Mother Jones.
In his final written
work, activist and politician Tom Hayden explores his own namesake,
Thomas Addis Emmet. Nonprofit executive Mark Shriver writes about the
priest who founded Boys Town, and celebrated actor Pierce Brosnan -
himself a painter in his spare time - writes about silent film director
Rex Ingram, also a sculptor. And a pair of Pulitzer Prize–winning
journalists, Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan, take on the story of Niall
O’Dowd, the news publisher who brokered peace in Northern Ireland.
of these remarkable stories serves as a reflection - and celebration -
of our nation’s shared values, ever more meaningful as we debate the
issue of immigration today. Through the battles they fought, the cases
they argued, the words they wrote, and the lives they touched, the nine
Irish men and women profiled in these pages left behind something
greater than their individual accomplishments - our America.