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).

Georgetown Gets It Right

 

You have to expect that any institution that is a couple centuries old will have a few incidents in its past it would like to forget. Georgetown University is a case in point. But to the credit of the administrators and the members of the Society of Jesus — better known as the Jesuits — […]

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Will Harvard Vote the Puritans Off the Island?

 

Somewhere, there may be an alma mater with stirring music and world-class lyrics. If it exists, I’ve never heard it. My college’s alma mater begins: Beneath New Jersey’s skies of blue, In Montclair’s mountain town, There stands our college, tried and true, And growing in renown. At least it rhymes. This year, Harvard University has […]

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A Bridge Too Far Near Philadelphia

 

I tried to come up with a title for this story that would be a clever spin on the “Why did the chicken cross the road?” gag, but I’ve got nothing. New infrastructure that eases congestion of vehicular traffic is good, right? Encouraging people to walk in safety to mass transit is good, too, right? […]

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Tom Lehrer Is Not Dead! He Just Wants You to Think He Is.

 

Tom Lehrer is the greatest comic songwriter of the last century. Okay. Maybe that’s too much. But he’s definitely the most hilarious of the last 89 years. (His 89th birthday is upon us.) At age ten, I was introduced to Tom Lehrer by one of parents’ best friends, Mr. Tully. The Tullys were the best-educated, […]

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Blazing Chasubles! The Vatican Is Right On This One

 

It’s gotta sting. The Vatican has just whupped Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio, upholding the right of the parish of Our Lady of the Atonement to place itself under the authority of a more congenial bishop. What should have been no more than a dust-up in the sacristy unexpectedly reached its “This Time He’s […]

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They’re Not Federal Prisons — They’re Factories With Fences

 

More than a decade ago, I was working with a publisher who was experiencing a crisis of conscience. Printing books in the U.S. had gotten expensive. But in Asia, printers were offering quality work at significant savings. The publisher told me from the perspective of the bottom line, the two top contenders were printers in […]

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They Published, and Their Articles Perished

 

About 100 years ago I decided to give up my job in New York, enroll at a big Midwest university, and pursue a Ph.D. in medieval English literature. I had some very good teachers in the doctoral program and a few who were not so great. But one of the things that puzzled me, now […]

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The Artful Dodgers of Notre Dame

 

A few weeks ago, Father John I. Jenkins, C.S.C, president of the University of Notre Dame, came to Washington. He was leading a contingent of Notre Dame students who were going to participate in the annual March for Life. While he was in town, Father Jenkins called on Vice President Mike Pence. During this friendly […]

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Russia’s Latest Acquisition: St. Patrick

 

We knew that Russia wouldn’t stop at the Crimea, but now they’ve gone too far. Just days before March 17, the Russian Orthodox Church announced that it has added to its official liturgical calendar, known as the Menaion, 15 saints from Western Europe. The most famous of these is St. Patrick, who will be venerated […]

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The Powers of Hell Take On Trump

 

It’s bad enough that Donald Trump has the Democrats arrayed against him, now he has to contend with Hell and all its legions. At midnight on Friday, February 24, witches across the United States, either individually or in covens, cast what is called “a binding spell” on the president intended to prevent him “from harming […]

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