Peter Duffy

Spy v. Spy: How a Double Agent Won D-Day for the Allies
October 19, 2012

Juan Pujol, who never fought on the front lines, is not a Stephen Ambrose–style war hero. He was, at his core, a con man.

Sad New World
June 28, 2012

In her methodical march across the nation’s history, Susan J. Matt shows that we are reluctant immigrants, hesitant pioneers, unenthusiastic warriors,

Civilization and Barbarism
March 14, 2012

Hong Xiuquan declared the “Taiping Heavenly Kingdom” in 1851 and appointed himself “Heavenly King” over China, which already had a leader of divine ma

All Mashed Up
August 31, 2011

John Reader, in his ambling new history of the “propitious esculent,” calls the potato the “best all-around bundle of nutrition known.” Without any he

The First Celebrity
April 25, 2011

An argument could be made that the first modern master of exposure-driven fame was Adah Isaacs Menken, who reigned as “America’s Original Superstar” (

Melting into Eire
December 01, 2010

To the Irish, few things are more essential than the land, but the land has also been Ireland’s great sorrow. Beginning in February 2007, property pri

Actually, Glenn Beck Is Not Father Coughlin
November 20, 2010

You haven’t truly arrived as a right-wing demagogue on the American airwaves until you’ve been compared to Reverend Charles E. Coughlin, the undisputed “Father of Hate Radio,” as one biographer described him.

The Monster
October 27, 2010

A famine is frightful thing to contemplate, not least because we have the ability to contemplate it. If you have not experienced war, the veteran info

Lords of the Ring
August 17, 2010

Introduced into the country first by the British and then their Irish cousins, prize fighting had become an integral part of American leisure time by

Slouching Towards Brutality
June 10, 2010

On Easter Monday in 1916, a tiny army of Irish separatists seized several buildings of middling significance in central Dublin, neglecting to take Dub