Edited by Mark Bailey
with Illustrations by Edward Hemingway
Price: $16.95; Trade paperback original; 272 pages; ISBN: 9781616205171
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Through the battles they fought, the cases they argued, the novels they wrote, and the lives they touched, these nine Irish men and women not only became American, but also helped make our nation what it is today.
“These are not just nine Irish lives, but nine extraordinary lives, their struggles universal, their causes never more important than today. As the saying goes, the best stories belong to those who can tell them. And these are well told, by some of our best storytellers.” —Timothy Egan, New York Times bestselling author of The Immortal Irishman
“Nine other writers might well have selected nine different subjects, which serves as a tribute to the indomitable Irish character and the transformational possibilities of America. This is a perfect St. Patrick's Day anthology for the Irish book lover on your gift list.”
Some thirty years ago, Mark Bailey read a brief essay of unknown origin titled “Nine Famous Irishmen,” and it made a lasting impression. To this day he still has a copy in his possession. As the story goes, nine Irish revolutionaries were convicted of treason and sentenced by Queen Victoria to be hanged. After much public outcry, the sentence was commuted and, instead, they were shipped to far-off Australia. The essay concludes with a list of the nine men’s names and what they went on to become: prominent politicians, lawyers, generals, businessmen in Australia and North America—immigrants who made a profound impact on the world.
With that idea in mind, and in the spirit of David McCullough’s Brave Companions, in NINE IRISH LIVES: The Thinkers, Fighters & Artists Who Helped Build America (Algonquin; $16.95 March 6, 2018), Bailey has brought together nine contemporary Irish American contributors, including Rosie O’Donnell, Michael Moore, and Pierce Brosnan, to write the profiles of nine incredible Irish immigrants. Some of the figures depicted are well known, others have stories that are less often told; all are inspiring. Here are the gems you will find in the enclosed galley:
• The late Tom Hayden on Thomas Addis Emmet, former New York State Attorney General
• Rosie O’Donnell on Margaret Haughery, the “Mother of the Orphans” in New Orleans
• Journalist Terry Golway on Mary Harris “Mother Jones,” the most famous female labor leader of the nineteenth century
• Poet Jill McDonough on Albert D. J. Cashier, a transgender Union soldier in the Civil War
• Michael Moore on Samuel S. McClure, the original muckraking journalist
• Nonprofit leader Mark K. Shriver on Father Edward J. Flanagan, famed founder of Boys Town
• Actor Pierce Brosnan on Rex Ingram, Hollywood movie director
• Author Kathleen Hill on Maeve Brennan, celebrated short story writer and journalist at The New Yorker
• Pulitzer Prize–winning reporters Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan on Niall O’Dowd, newspaper founder who helped broker the Northern Ireland peace accords
These tales of revolutionaries, visionaries, and unsung heroes serve as a timely tribute to the values and people that have helped shape America
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Bailey is an author and Emmy-nominated screenwriter. His previous books include American Hollow, Hemingway & Bailey’s Bartending Guide to Great American Writers, Of All the Gin Joints, and the children’s book Tiny Pie. His films have appeared on HBO, PBS, National Geographic, and Lifetime. Bailey lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three children.
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Edited by Mark Bailey