James Terence Fisher is a cultural historian and the author of The Catholic Counterculture in American, 1933-1962 (University of North Carolina Press: 1989), Dr. America: The Lives of Thomas A. Dooley, 1927-1961 (University of Massachusetts Press: 1997), Communion of Immigrants: A History of Catholics in America (Oxford University Press: 2000), and numerous articles and essays about American cultural history and religion including “Clearing the Streets of the Lost Catholic Generation” (South Atlantic Quarterly 1994, vol. 93.3). He teaches at Fordham University.


5 thoughts on “About

  1. Jim–looking forward to the book launch. I’ve been waiting on this gem for a while and I know it will help on my latest project–a bio of Patrick Cardinal Hayes and Catholic New York in the 20s and 30s. I love the cover! Congrats!

  2. Hi Mr. White. Looking to purchase your book and have you sign it. I’m getting it for a teen-age neighbor of mine who has met you. I’m told I live on your block! Please contact me via my e-mail.

  3. Dear Dr. Fisher,

    I was moved by your book, On the Irish Waterfront. My father owned the Eagle Tavern on West 14th Street and Ninth Avenue. Arthur “Brownie” Brown was a customer of his. When I was a boy, he told me about several of the situations described in your book.

    I remember him telling me about being thrown into the Hudson after a beating. “A buncha ILA gorillas beat the hell outta me and trew me in da river, but that’s where they made their mistake. It was January and the cold wadda woke me up! They weren’t gonna get ridda Brownie that easy!”

    I got choked up when I realized that Brownie’s place in the struggle for trade union democracy, like those of so many other working class heroes, would not be lost to history.

    His stories were one of the sources for my own inspiration to become a trade unionist (a line of work I pursued for twelve years).

    I also wanted to address the criticisms you mentioned to the character of “Pete Barry” in the film “On the Waterfront.” I wonder if much of the criticism to Barry’s dominant role in the narrative might not be based on the fact that it does not fit into the leftist notion that the workers (or, if you prefer, proletariat) are meant to lift themselves from their oppression. Agate’s lines in Odets’ “Waiting for Lefty” come to mind – “Don’t wait for Lefty. He may never come.”

    The idea that a benevolent “outsider,” particularly a priest, could be the source of progress must have rubbed a lot of ideologues the wrong way. It’s such a shame when history refuses to abide my our own preconceptions!

    Thank you for a wonderful book!


    James Noone

  4. Dear Mr. Fisher,
    I just started reading your book and am thoroughly enjoying it. My mother was born and raised in a two bedroom railroad flat on W16th street during the 40s and 50s and has told me tales of life in the neighborhood. From the poverty, longshoreman, alcoholism ( her own grandfather got run over and killed while in a drunken stupor), to the Catholic church and beyond. But she also told me of the joys of growing up in Irish Chelsea as well. Thank you for your book. It truly catches the flavor of that particular time and place.

  5. Hello,
    I really enjoyed your book. My father’s godfather was William McCormack, “Mr. Big.” McCormack was my grandfather’s cousin or possibly brother in law and he and my grandfather were both partners in United Sand and Gravel with Al Smith. My father worked for McCormack at Transitmix concrete and then for Halloran after McCormack died and his daughter sold the business. My father has told me many stories of Mr. McCormack, who he describes as having “fists the size of hams” and McCormack’s brother, who once punched out Gene Tunney in front of the 21 Club.

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