Famous Genealogist Solves Her Own Family’s Mystery

Solving a long-held family history mystery leads to an enigmatic playwright By Megan Smolenyak I couldn’t understand it. My nana had an amazing memory. As a professional genealogist, I’m more aware than most that we should take our family lore with a grain of salt. Whether deliberately or accidentally, it’s distorted as it travels through the generations, but everything she told...

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Provisional IRA Founded 50 Years Ago

The man behind the Provisional IRA was Londoner Seán MacStiofáin. By Brian Dooley If all politics really is local, as Tip O’Neill suggested, then it’s hard to know where to place Seán MacStiofáin, founder of the Provisional IRA. MacStiofáin was born and grew up in London as John Stephenson. His father was English and his mother Irish, from Belfast. He didn’t visit Ireland...

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Rediscovering Books in the Time of the Coronavirus

By Pat Fenton Each day as I watch the news on television I wonder about the book shelves the newscasters use as back drops as many of them broadcast from their homes, newscasters like Anthony Mason from CBS “This Morning” who actually uses some of his books to prop up the make shift lighting for his show, and Maurice Dubois from CBS’ evening news, and Gloria Borger from CNN along...

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A Book’s Revival

By Brian Dooley More than 20 years ago I wrote a book about the links between the U.S. civil rights movement and the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland. Black and Green did okay, reviewers were kind, and some schools and universities in the U.S. and Europe forced their students to read it. What’s surprised me is that two decades on it’s enjoying a mini-revival. Its central...

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How Bobby Sands Changed Everything

  By Niall O’Dowd, Publisher It was 40 years ago today (May 5, 1981) that Bobby Sands died on a hunger strike in Northern Ireland. After 66 brutal days of starvation his body gave out but his spirit marched on. Eventually, ten men died, their extraordinary belief in their rights to live as free Irishmen astounded the world. I was living in San Francisco at the time, 6,000 miles from...

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