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).

A Voice From Beyond the Grave

 

Early on a Thursday evening in April 2016, family members, friends, and the faithful at large gathered at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Fleming Island, Florida, to pray for the safe return of a beloved parish priest, Father Rene Robert. Several days earlier, he had vanished without a trace. Father Robert, 71-years-old and a priest […]

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George Washington’s Runaway Chef

 

Moving into the White House has got to be a daunting task. All those rooms and corridors to navigate. All those staffers’ names to remember. All those previous executive orders to rescind. But, decisive though he appears to be, President Donald Trump has not yet appointed a White House chef. The current Executive Chef at […]

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Nebraska Law’s Advice to a Teaching Sister: ’Lose the Veil’

 

About a century ago, the Ku Klux Klan spearheaded a coalition of anti-Catholic organizations in Nebraska to lobby the state legislature to pass a law that would ban public school teachers from wearing religious insignia or garb in the classroom. And in 1919 the legislators obliged. But let’s not beat up on Nebraska — around […]

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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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