The Feast of St. Patrick has its roots in traditional Christian culture in Ireland, and became an official holiday in the 1600s. In modern times, St. Patrick’s Day is more synonymous with green beer and corned beef than religion, but the connection with Ireland remains. Fordham has several titles that highlight Ireland, its culture, its people, and the Irish-American legacy. From Salvatore Basile comes Fifth Avenue Famous, the story of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and its music—a stirring monument to one of the most iconic Catholic churches in America.
For another look at Catholicism in New York City, check out Catholics in New York: Society, Culture, and Politics 1808-1946 edited by Terry Golway. The book, copublished with the Museum of the City of New York, is a synthesis of rare images and essays that study the growth of the city’s largest Christian denomination.
You might also be familiar with New York Times assistant editor, Mark Bulik’s book, The Sons of Molly Maguire: The Irish Roots of America’s First Labor War. Mark explores sensational tales of true-life crime, the devastation of the Irish potato famine, the upheaval of the Civil War, and the turbulent emergence of the American labor movement are connected in a captivating exploration of the roots of the Molly Maguires. A secret society of peasant assassins in Ireland that re-emerged in Pennsylvania’s hard-coal region, the Mollies organized strikes, murdered mine bosses, and fought the Civil War draft. Their shadowy twelve-year duel with all powerful coal companies marked the beginning of class warfare in America. A must read!