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A Nation of Americans

America is a nation of immigrants. America has always been a nation of immigrants. Or so we are constantly told. Strange, then, that the phrase did not become common until John F. Kennedy published a book with that title in 1958. “All Americans have been immigrants or the descendants of . . . . Continue Reading »

Broken Family, Broken Country

My Father Left Me Ireland:  An American Son’s Search For Home by michael brendan dougherty sentinel, 223 pages, $24 Irish artists face a problem unknown to artists in, let us say, uninterrupted nations. It is possible for things, places, people to be “too Irish”—the gist of a note I . . . . Continue Reading »

Back Row America

I first walked into the Hunts Point neighborhood of the Bronx because I had been told not to. I had been told it was too dangerous and too poor, and that I was too white. I had been told that “nobody goes there for anything but drugs and prostitutes.” The people telling me this were my . . . . Continue Reading »

Immigration Idealism

For much of my life, I believed in open borders. Aside from violent criminals, I could think of no person who had entered this country illegally or overstayed a visa who deserved to be sent away. But in fact, I had thought little about the matter. I simply meant well, and I knew that all . . . . Continue Reading »

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