Behind the Scenes

On the Irish Waterfront
The Crusader, the Movie, and the Soul of the Port of New York
James T. Fisher
Cornell University Press, $29.95, 392 pp.

At the height of Irish immigration to the United States, an Irishman arriving in New York would be met and squired to what amounted to a safe house, one of many scattered around the city. Soon, sometimes just days later, he would emerge as a policeman, a sanitation worker, or a longshoreman on the West Side docks—the three occupations controlled by the New York Irish. My great-grandmother’s rowhouse, still standing a few blocks north of the new Yankee Stadium, was...

The remainder of this article is only available to paid subscribers.

Print subscribers to Commonweal are entitled to free access to all premium online content. Click here to purchase a print subscription, or if you’re already a print subscriber, register now for premium access.

Online-only subscriptions provide access to all premium online articles for just $34/year or $2.95/month. Click here to subscribe.

Registered users, please log in below:

Or log in with...


About the Author

Paul O’Donnell is a freelance reporter who often writes about religion and pop culture.