A rare and evocative memoir of a respected constitutional scholar, dedicated public servant, political reformer, and facilitator of peace in the land of his ancestors
By John D. Feerick (pictured)
Foreword by Thomas J. Shelley
“This is a superb autobiography because it is an inspiring story of family and the importance of roots…We live in a dark time, and we all need heroes. John Ferrick is my hero. If you read this book, he’ll be yours too.” —New York Law Review, William Treanor, Dean of Georgetown University Law Center
John D. Feerick’s life has all the elements of a modern Horatio Alger story: the poor boy who achieves success by dint of his hard work. But Feerick brought other elements to that classical American success story: his deep religious faith, his integrity, and his paramount concern for social justice.
In his memoir, That Further Shore: A Memoir of Irish Roots and American Promise, (April 21, 2020; Fordham University Press; Hardcover; $34.95) Feerick shares his inspiring story, from his humble beginnings born to immigrant parents in the South Bronx, going on to practice law, participating in framing the Constitution’s Twenty-Fifth Amendment, serving as dean of Fordham Law, and serving as President of the New York City Bar Association and chair of State Commissions on government integrity.
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Beginning with Feerick’s ancestry and early-life experiences, including a detailed genealogical description of Feerick’s Irish ancestors in County Mayo and his laborious quest to identify them and their relationship with one another, the book then presents an evocative survey of the now vanished world of a working-class Irish Catholic neighborhood in the South Bronx. Feerick’s account of how he financed his education from elementary school through law school is a moving tribute to the immigrant work ethic that he inherited from his parents and shared with many young Americans of his generation. The book then traces Feerick’s career as a lawyer and how he gave up a lucrative partnership in a prestigious New York City law firm at an early age to accept the office of dean of the Fordham School of Law at a fraction of his previous income because he felt it was time to give back something to the world.
John Feerick has consistently shown his commitment to the law as a vocation as well as a profession by his efforts to protect the rights of the poor, to enable minorities to achieve their rightful place in American society, and to combat political corruption. That Further Shore is an inspiring memoir of how one humble and decent man helped to make America a more just and equitable society.
Praise for That Further Shore:
“John Feerick elevates any place that he is a part of. It's not simply his numerous accomplishments as a dean, as a leader of legal education, as somebody who has been so fundamentally a part of our legal world-not just in New York, but in the nation—it's the values that he brings to everything that he does that makes all of us want to follow him, that makes us all feel that the world is a better place because of who he is and what he does.”
—Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann, US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, as quoted in the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution
“The name of John Feerick is renowned here in New York, and rightly so. Those of us who so admire him wonder, ‘Where did he get this faith, wit, wisdom, and love?’ With this fine read, now we know!”
—Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York
“I came to know John Feerick well when he became the Dean of Fordham Law School; and I, like all in legal education, soon came to see him as a beacon for those who view the law as a sacred instrument. It was no surprise to us that, after his illustrious tenure as dean, he devoted his formidable talent to serving our city and the bar. This terrific book tells that story. But, more importantly, it shows how the public man we know was molded in the tradition of Irish-Catholic familial love and sustained by the continuation of that spirit in the family he has built with his love, Emalie. This is a special book about a very special man.”
—John Sexton, President Emeritus, New York University
“When John Feerick received the ABA Medal, he thanked his parents for assuring that he and his siblings received a good education. His touching and inspiring book appropriately begins with his family's story. John's early years assured he would have an indefatigable quest for learning and teaching. This book takes the reader through a career that unbelievably was accomplished by only one person. Each chapter is an exciting journey filled with fascinating stories. I could not put it down!”
—Linda Klein, Past President of the American Bar Association
About John Feerick:
John Feerick is a professor of law at Fordham Law School and the occupant of the Sidney C. Norris Chair of Law in Public Service. He teaches and writes in areas of the Constitution, legal ethics, and conflict resolution. His books include the third edition of The Twenty-Fifth Amendment: Its Complete History and Applications, and From Failing Hands: The Story of Presidential Succession, which was helpful in framing the Constitution's 25th amendment.
That Further Shore: A Memoir of Irish Roots and American Promise by John D. Feerick | Foreword by Thomas J. Shelley | Fordham University Press; Hardcover; April 7, 2020 | ISBN: 978-0-8232-8735-2 | Autobiography | History | Politics | $34.95 456 pages, 25 b/w illustrations | eBook Available