James P. MacGuire, a member of one of Stephen Birmingham's Irish Families, creates his own entertaining portrait of life among the Irish Rich, further detailing and filling out this engrossing portion of America's social history.
Real Lace Revisited chronicles the religious, financial and social evolution of the First Irish Families’ world, its rise, peak, decline, fall, and, in some cases, transformative rebirth. Rather than a memoir, however, the book reads as an informed historical, non-fiction account of the upper-class Irish world as it grew and changed. Real Lace Revisited is always accessible and highly readable, enlivened by MacGuire’s gift for storytelling, encyclopedic knowledge, and often humorous insight into the families concerned.
|Publisher:||Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
James P. MacGuire was born in New York and educated at Johns Hopkins and Cambridge. He has worked, inter alia, at Time Inc., Macmillan, The Health Network, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. His poetry, fiction and journalism have been published in many national publications.
He is the author or co-author of ten books and two beloved sons, Pierce and Rhoads.
Table of Contents
Preface: In Praise of Stephen Birmingham ix
Foreword: The Real First Irish Family xii
Chapter I McDonnell & Co.: The Aftermath 1
Chapter II The Rise of the Wealthy Irish Catholics 9
Chapter III WasPs, Jews, and the Irish 23
Chapter IV Southward and Westward 33
Chapter V Faith of Our Fathers (and Mothers) 44
Profile: Portsmouth Priory: The Early Years 51
Chapter VI From Counting Houses to Carryout 57
Profile: Tom Monaghan and Domino's Pizza 66
Chapter VII High (and Low) Society 69
Profile: Watering Holes: Saratoga, Southampton, Newport 102
Chapter VIII Sport 118
Profile: The Maras and Rooneys-From Racing to Pro Football 125
Chapter IX In the Public Arena 135
Profile: The Kennedys and the Buckleys 138
Chapter X Vatican II: An Age of Anxiety 180
Chapter XI The 1960s: High-Water Mark 184
Profile: Portsmouth Again: From Priory to Abbey 188
Chapter XII Gratitude 198
Profile: Peter Flanigan and Student Sponsor Partners 204
Chapter XIII Assimilation: Leaving the Ghetto 209
Chapter XIV Decay and Falling Away 212
Epilogue: Endings and New Beginnings 231
About the Author 267
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
There are perhaps just a handful of gifted writers who could have penned a book such as this fine accounting of America’s Irish families of wealth. James MacGuire’s fellow prep-school classmate and now his dear friend, Christopher Buckley (son of William F Buckley Jr) would be one writer that I could think of. What keeps these detailed chronicles from becoming a few dozen mini-biographies strung together is the way in which the author is connected to all of them. While the book is meticulously detailed and researched, the reader feels as if he is the beneficiary of a first hand verbal narrative as the story is now passed down to him. The author’s “insider” perspective comes from graduating from the same schools, attending the same weddings, socializing at the same clubs, playing squash and tennis on the same courts where a vast vessel of anecdotes, yarns and histories about these Irish families was stored away to eventually be retrieved for this book. MacGuire is an urban and charming story-teller.