Peter's Articles

A comprehensive list of magazine articles penned over the years.


Out of Reach

Memories of a Distant Father

From: Commonweal
Date: October 20, 2017


John Quinn: The Forgotten Irish American Nationaist

The Irish American lawyer who funded the Irish literary renaissance.

From: Irish America
Date: December 2016 / January 2017


The Rising Revised

Roy Foster's Vivid Faces.

From: Commonweal
Date: March 25, 2016


An Interview with Historian and Novelist Peter Quinn

A compelling conversation with Peter Quinn about history and his process.

From: City Courant
Date: Spring 2015


Runyon's Way

Writers must learn these things for themselves and find their own way. Yet for most, if not all, the path is so crooked and confusing that getting lost is as easy as falling off a barstool after gargling one-too-many alcoholic beverages of one type or another.

From: Commonweal
Date: July 10, 2015



Things Fall Apart

The greatest failure in America is the failure to stay young.

From: Commonweal
Date: April 10, 2015


Mad Jack: Siegfried Sassoon at War & at Peace

In her perspective, exhaustively researched biography of Siegfried Sassoon, Jean Moorcroft Wilson posits that "a study of his life is a study of his age."

From: Commonweal
Date: September 12, 2014


Hunger Games: Who Gets To Eat and Who Decides?

The Politics of Hunger - What criteria should be used to decide who gets fed - and in what amount - and who doesn't?

From: Commonweal
Date: May 16, 2014


The Biggest Part of Writing is Showing up

A conversation with Peter Quinn - by Domenic Preziosi

From: Commonweal
Date: October 25, 2013


The Last Word: Past Perfect

"The past isn't dead," William Faulkner famously remarked. "It isn't even past."

From: Commonweal
Date: October 11, 2013



At the Crossroads

Review of Who Occupies This House by Kathleen Hill.

From: Commonweal
Date: January 28, 2011 


The Road To The White House

Mastery of urban politis helped the Irish rise from the huddled mases to the heights of political power.

From: Irish America magazine
Date: June/July 2010



In Service: Emily Dickinson, Helen Keller & the Irish Help

The women behind Emily Dickinson & Helen Keller.

From: Commonweal magazine
Date: June 18, 2010


What's the Rush?

A discussion of Pope Pius XII and the Catholic Church's controversial consideration of his canonization.

From: Commonweal
Date: March 12, 2010


A Fervent Melody Struggling To Be Heard

A piece on the legacy of San Francisco-based Irish- American scholar and activist, Danny Cassidy.

From: Irish America
Date: October/November 2009


Frank's Map

Remembering writer Frank McCourt and his complicated views on Catholicism.

From: Commonweal magazine
Date: August 14, 2009


Who's the Boss?

A review of King of the Bowery: Big Tim Sullivan, Tammany Hall, and New York City from the Gilded Age to the Progressive Era by Richard F. Welch.

From: Commonweal
Date: May 22, 2009


Frankie's Secret

The forgotten costs of war.

From: Commonweal
Date: February 13, 2009



Remembering Danny: The Real Jazz

Peter Quinn remembers Daniel Cassidy, the author of How the Irish Invented Slang, as "a deeply spiritual man of passionate intensity and resonant laughter... a social visionary filled with savage indignation against snobbery, pretense, arrogance..."

From: Irish America
Date: December 08/January 09


Hitler's Doctor

A review of 1940 by Jay Neugeboren.

From: Commonweal
Date: May 9, 2008


Lavender Hill Mob

A review of Fellow Travelers by Thomas Mallon.

From: Commonweal magazine
Date: May 4, 2007


The Gentle Darwinians

What Darwin's champions won't mention.

From: Commonweal
Date: March 9, 2007


Clement & Loving

A review of After This by Alice McDermott.

From: Commonweal
Date: October 20, 2006


Race Cleansing in America

A nationwide gene-purity movement promoted methods that eventually were adopted by the Third Reich. And everyone from John D. Rockefeller to W.E.B. DuBuis supported it.

From: American Heritage
Date: March 2003


The Catholic Novel: Fact Or Fiction?

An essay adapted from the Fourth Annual Russo Lecture sponsored by Fordham University's Archbishop Hughes Institute for Religion and Culture.

From: Commonweal
Date: November 8, 2002


Dear Disagreeable New York

The real skinny on America's most consistently and wonderfully disagreeable town.

From: America
Date: January 31-February 7, 1998



The Tradegy of Bridget Such-A-One

A hundred and fifty years ago famine in Ireland fostered a desperate, unprecedented mass migration to America. Neither country has been the same since.

From: American Heritage
Date: December 1997


Long Day's Journey From Rome

A book review of Down the Nights and Down the Days: Eugene O'Neill's Catholic Sensibility by Edward L. Shaughnessy.

From: Commonweal
Date: October 24, 1997



It's Coming On Christmas: Schlock & The Incarnation

One man's unique musings on the Christmas season. Watch out jolly Old St. Nick!

From: Commonweal
Date: December 18, 1987


The Gathering Gloom:
Is 1929 About To Happen Again?

Those aren't acorns dropping out of the heavens; they are the harbingers for the despondent stockbrokers and investment bankers of the Great-Crash-to-Come.

From: America
Date: August 29-September 5, 1987



In Search of Protestants

A Bronx boy's puzzlement in the 1950's

From: The New York Times
Date: March 16, 1985