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...

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About the Author

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