On the Irish Waterfront: The Crusader, the Movie, and the Soul of the Port of New York

By McLeod, Hugh | The Catholic Historical Review, January 2011 | Go to article overview

On the Irish Waterfront: The Crusader, the Movie, and the Soul of the Port of New York


McLeod, Hugh, The Catholic Historical Review


On the Irish Waterfront: The Crusader, the Movie, and the Soul of the Port of New York. By James T Fisher. [Cushwa Center Studies of Catholicism in Twentieth-Century America.] (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. 2009Pp. xiv, 370. $29.95. ISBN 978-0-801-44804-1.)

The now classic Kazan-Schulberg film On the Waterfront (1954) depicted a brutal world, already familiar from testimony to the Senate's Crime Committee. More unexpectedly, the hero was a "labor priest," Father Pete Barry. In this deeply researched and compellingly narrated book James T Fisher tells the true story behind the famous movie. The priest was based on the charismatic Jesuit Father "Pete" Corridan of the Xavier Labor School, who had been running a long campaign against humiliating hiring practices, corrupt union officials, and the connections of both businessmen and labor leaders with criminals on Manhattan's West Side piers. Corridan faced an uphill battle, and the book has no happy ending, as he was ultimately defeated. Fisher has three main objectives. First, and this is perhaps his most original achievement, he aims to provide a complete picture of the interlocking worlds of businessmen, labor leaders, politicians, priests, and gangsters who, in their different ways, exercised great power over life in the waterfront districts on either side of the Hudson River from the later nineteenth century up to the 1950s. These five forms of power are represented here by the stevedoring millionaire, William J. "Mr. Big" McCormack;"King Joe" Ryan, life president of the International Longshoremen's Association; Frank Hague, mayor of Jersey City for thirty years; Monsignor John J. "Taxi Jack" O'Donnell, chaplain to the port; and John "Cockeye" Dunn, who was finally brought to the electric chair for the last of an alleged thirty-two murders. All these men were Catholics of Irish descent, most had risen from poverty, and most were intimately acquainted with one another. Each in his own way contributed to the formidable strength of the status quo; and, above all, this regime, in spite of its many evils, was accepted by a large proportion of their fellow Irish Catholics living and working on the waterfront.

Fisher's second aim is to provide a sympathetic, though not uncritical, account of Corridan's crusade. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

On the Irish Waterfront: The Crusader, the Movie, and the Soul of the Port of New York
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.