Thomas J. Craughwell

Thomas J. Craughwell is the author of the Thomas Jefferson’s Crème Brûlée: How a Founding Father and His Slave James Hemings Introduced French Cuisine to America (Quirk, September 2012). His other books include The Greatest Brigade: How the Irish Brigade Cleared the Way to Victory in the Civil War (Fair Winds, 2011) and Stealing Lincoln’s Body (Harvard University Press, 2007).

Trump, Lincoln, and the Man Who Held the President-Elect’s Hat

 

I don’t know if Donald Trump is the most thin-skinned candidate we’ve elected president. When it came to criticism, John Adams had a zero-tolerance policy. Harry Truman was known to come after his critics with both barrels blazing. Personally, I wish President-elect Trump possessed the quality Abraham Lincoln had in abundance when confronted with harsh […]

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Debbie Reynolds and the Less-Than-Bouncy Life of the Real Singing Nun

 

The loss of Debbie Reynolds just hours after the death of her daughter, Carrie Fisher, is a double tragedy unlike anything Hollywood and movie lovers have ever experienced. The personality clashes between mother and daughter have been exhaustively documented, but their family troubles shouldn’t overshadow that Reynolds and Fisher were busy working actresses who appeared […]

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The Battle for the Bucks of Book Lovers

 

Since I graduated from college in 1978, I’ve spent virtually my entire career in publishing. Naturally, I was interested when e-books debuted. The advantages seemed pretty obvious — portability, carrying around on one device an entire library, not to mention the benefits for publishers who wouldn’t have to pay for paper, ink, printing costs, labor, […]

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The Boors on the Airbus

 

Just days before Christmas, Ivanka Trump was accosted by a fellow JetBlue passenger who felt moved — no, the correct word is “entitled” — to dump on her his displeasure that her father, Donald Trump, had been elected president. The boor in question is an attorney named Dan Goldstein. His husband, college professor Matthew Lasner, […]

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Brush Up Your Shakespeare, UPenn

 

By now you’ve probably heard that a hapless gang of brain-dead students at the University of Pennsylvania — an Ivy League school, no less — removed a portrait of William Shakespeare from the main staircase of Fisher-Bennett Hall, where the English Department is located, and replaced it with what appears to be a large photocopy […]

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Billboard Magazine’s Singing Nuns

 

When was the last time Benedictine nuns rocked your world? Well, since 2012, the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles, have been topping the charts at Billboard magazine, building a loyal fan base among lovers of traditional classical music and socking away the proceeds of their sales via iTunes and CDs to move out […]

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George Washington’s Cabinet of Warmongers

 

Fair Warning: Before reading any further, you may want to retreat to your safe space, and remember to bring along your 101 Mandalas coloring book. Here we go: Seventy percent of George Washington’s first cabinet were military men. And let’s not forget that Washington had served as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the American […]

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Unseemly: Peoria and New York Squabble Over Fulton Sheen’s Body

 

The Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Peoria are wrangling like spoiled children over who gets a prized toy. In this case, however, the “toy” in question is the body of the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. The cause to raise Sheen to sainthood in the Catholic Church was begun in 2002 by […]

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Debtor’s Prison

 

Wednesday, one of my closest friends was sentenced to two years in prison. He had pled guilty to squandering his investors’ money on himself and his girlfriend. Before the sentence was pronounced, he made a statement to the court admitting what he had done, expressing genuine remorse, and promising to do everything he could to […]

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Christian Iraq’s Iwo Jima

 

After a week of hard fighting last month, Iraqi government forces drove ISIS from the town of Bartella, liberating a stronghold of Iraqis who belong to the Assyrian Orthodox Church. In their euphoria, Christian militia, who call themselves the Nineveh Plains Force, used two broken pieces of lumber to cobble together a cross. They climbed […]

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