Peter Duffy

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.

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Sad New World

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

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

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All Mashed Up

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

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The First Celebrity

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” (

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Melting into Eire

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

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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.

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The Monster

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

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Lords of the Ring

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

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

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