Patrick J. Walsh

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Perfidious Pence
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Perfidious Pence

Former President Trump is growing more vocal in his criticism of former Vice President Mike Pence for certifying the 2020 Presidential election. At a Texas rally on Jan. 29, Trump said that Pence could have sent electoral votes from disputed …

Dilution of Heroes
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Dilution of Heroes

Napoleon and de Gaulle: Heroes and History; By Patrice Gueniffey; Belknap Press; 416 pp., $35.00

 


Both Napoleon Bonaparte and Charles de Gaulle rose in a time of turmoil and war to restore order. Napoleon’s service to France lay in

Goodbye, Columbus
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Goodbye, Columbus

On October 11, 2019, President Donald J. Trump commemorated Christopher Columbus’s discovery of America with these memorable words:

On October 12, 1492, after a perilous, two-month journey across the treacherous Atlantic Ocean, Christopher Columbus and his crew aboard the Niña,

A City-State on a Hill
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A City-State on a Hill

Mark Peterson’s new book traces the development of Boston from its founding in 1630 to the end of the American Civil War. In large part the book is a biography of the city, but from the unique perspective of Boston

A Matter of Necessity
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A Matter of Necessity

God, War, and Providence approaches the story of Roger Williams by exploring the relationship between Puritan Massachusetts and Williams’s Rhode Island, and the relations both colonies had with the Indian tribes inhabiting these regions.

Plymouth Plantation was founded in 1620

A Man of Inaction
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A Man of Inaction

In 1912, at dusk walking home, Henry Adams spotted something he thought to be a hippopotamus in the nation’s capital.  As he drew nearer he saw it was President Taft.

He gave me a shock.  He looks bigger and more

Two Friends, Two Americas
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Two Friends, Two Americas

Gordon Wood, regarded as the foremost historian of the American Revolution, has written a very fine account of the friendship between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.  Though strained at times, their friendship extended through the turbulence of the War for

Churchill in Africa
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Churchill in Africa

“Half-alien and wholly undesirable” was Lady Astor’s assessment of Winston Churchill.  For Winston’s father, Randolph Churchill, had taken an American wife, “a dollar princess,” as many cash-strapped members of the English aristocracy did in the late 19th and early 20th

An American In Great Britain
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An American In Great Britain

George Goodwin’s new book on Benjamin Franklin explores the 18 years Franklin spent in England working as a printer (1726-28) and as an agent representing the Pennsylvania assembly and other American colonies (1757-62, 1766-75).  The author of this excellent book

The Romantic Tory
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The Romantic Tory

President Nixon lamented in 1969 to his urban-affairs advisor, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, that there was a dearth of poetry in the White House and had the former professor draw up a list of books for him to read.  Nixon soon

Room to Pass
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Room to Pass

Few people read Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) much anymore.  Lines from his poems were once on the tips of tongues the world over.  Students used to memorize “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere,” and lines from “Evan-geline” and “Hiawatha.”  Longfellow’s

Daffodils for Wordsworth
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Daffodils for Wordsworth

The name Philip Larkin (1922-1985) is a wonderfully poetic one, conjuring an image of a lover of horses on a carefree adventure.  Such, however, is far from the temperament of this 20th-century poet, whose poetry is more suggestive of some

The Order of the Silver Cross
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The Order of the Silver Cross

Napoleon rose to power on the destructive wave of the French Revolution.  His own synopsis of his remarkable career is succinct—“Corsican by birth, French by adoption and emperor by achievement.”  The Age Of Napoleon, by Alistair Horne, seeks to

Till Earth Was
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Till Earth Was

Poet John Clare (1793-1864) seems to have grown from the soil.  His last name derives from the word clayer—someone who manures and enriches clay.  As a farm laborer, he drew sustenance from the earth.  Immersed in humus, he learned

Custom and Ceremony
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Custom and Ceremony

The first volume of R.F. Foster’s acclaimed biography of William Butler Yeats (The Apprentice Mage) appeared in 1997.  Yeats’ son and daughter (now in their 70’s) chose him to be their father’s official biographer after their previous choice,

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The Battle Over Terri

Michael Schiavo has decided that his wife’s life is without merit.  Since her collapse in 1990, he has worked to free himself from the burden of caring for the one he vowed to love in sickness and in health.  After

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Belated Bloomsday

June 16 is Bloomsday, named after the character of Leopold Bloom in James Joyce’s Ulysses. Joyce’s huge book takes place all on that long June day in 1904—250,000 words long, that is. We are told that Ulysses is one