Author: Thomas H. O’Connor
Title: The Boston Irish
Publication Info: 9780316626613
ISBN: Back Bay Books (1997)
Previously Read by the Same Author: Eminent Bostonians
Summary/Review: Subtitled “A Political History” this is the Dean of Boston History’s story of the rise of Irish from subjugated minority to political power in Boston. While there is a lot more that could be said of Boston Irish history this book focuses on the Irish mayors and a few other political leaders as well as Irish-American Catholic bishops attempts to help lead their flock into the Boston mainstream. O’Connor follows to trends – the business-like, accommodationist attempts to work with the traditional Yankee power elite and the more confrontational, neighborhood-focused style emphasized by John Fitzgerald and James Michael Curley. This was an interesting summary of politics in Boston history and especially informative of the big figures in recent history of Boston.
Recommended books: How the Irish Became White by Noel Ignatiev, All Souls: A Family Story from Southie by Michael Patrick MacDonald, and Ethnics and Enclaves by William Michael Demarco.