I was hoping this was a different ind of memoir these letters were mostly boring to me If this book were written like a usual memoir it probably woukd gave been better Sry I just didnt like it Really great stuff Despite liking the author his mother his father and his life in general I was underwhelmed by this book It s written beautifully but not for me Looking back with such a heavy tinged brand of gypped ire is just not on my personal wavelength I don t believe it ever has been eitherHaving a childhood and young adulthood that was in majority Irish immigrant community I thought I would have a better connection But although I understood Michael I just couldn t ever get on the same page with him His Mother s Last Few Years Almost Made Me Cry few years almost made me cry as understanding as he was to her that particular era leaves me stymied for his there but truly not there reaction intersect with herThis is about his Daddy The Daddy not there and how Ireland and its history has somewhat replaced the ultimate connection to the person he saw infreuently The one who replaced him with another Irish family in Ireland uite frankly the title should have been My Mother Left Me Ireland etc The identity and much else is honored to land FAR on her plateI did NOT think that putting it in letters to his Father increased the connection or onus It didn t to me Just made him seem and act MORE needy Which of course he was But in Irish manner LOL he just gets lyrical and pontificates about Irish history comparisons and identity connections in a rather pompous manner instead And I completely disagree about his ideas about nationalism and onus for government when the cultural masses are uiet as well He sees things in the self centered nearly entirely and not just historically eitherI liked the end letter And I am with him on the language of identity too All of us have our mountains to climb The Irish excel at telling rather than doing IMHO He should have told this from his end straight out instead of substituting rebel Easter Rising heroes revised bravadoHe s Irish than even he connotes I picked up this book on the effusive recommendation of Alan Jacobs At first I thought I might tire of it though I felt sympathy for a fatherless boy I confess to my shame that that sympathy did not extend to listening to him moon to his dad about the absence of his dadBut something happened in the emotional tenor of the book by making his efforts to recover a father an effort to also recover a sense of nation and people both of which I take for granted Dougherty succeeded in sounding not whiny but hopeful And when he turned his penetrating gaze and his grand prose back on
America He Saw Something I he saw something I to see againMass media was my primary teacher growing up And it taught me and my friends how to conform with one another It slipped under the table to me a lesson that sincerity is a ind of weakness That it will be used against me And that any sentiment at all anything that could expose you to the danger of ridicule or the genuine possession of an emotion should be double and triple Saran wrapped in irony I suppose we do this for safety somehow as if unwrapped passion itself is so flammable it would consume our little worlds at the instant we exposed it to open air 180I immediately saw myself A few of my own convictions are things that embarrass me in polite Christian company and the mocking I took to be healthy self deprecation I now see as ironic self distancing and self protection I will change by God s graceDougherty shows that the Irish nationalists of yesteryear who gave their lives in a revolt they had to now would fail have been mocked by today s ironic self distancers But they had something real we lack something that ought to uicken the heart In a day when even snuggling with your children is justified by the terms of technocratic capitalism Reading to Kids Increases their Net Worth by 127350 by age 40 we need to recover the idea that life gives us better values than money That sounds almost like pablum as I summarize it but it wasn t in Dougherty s hands he successfully conveyed a sense of longing for the Irish nation without in any way trying to exclude others In the day of the alt right it s considered dangerous to praise and defend the values of one s nation Nations are ersatz realities political creations power grabs we Saran wrap ourselves from feeling any pride in star spangled banners or Irish tri colours But it shouldn t be Distinctive cultures have distinctive gifts of God and distinctive sins and those gifts are worth preserving And the neat thing. The perfect gift for parents this Father's Day a beautiful gut wrenching memoir of Irish identity fatherhood and what we owe to the past A heartbreaking and redemptive book written with courage and grace JD Vance author of Hillbilly Elegy a lovely little book Ross Douthat The New York TimesThe child of an Irish man and an Irish American woman who split up before he was born Michael Brendan Dougherty grew up with an acute sense of absence He was raised in New Jersey by his hard working single mother who gave him a passion for Ireland the land of her roots and the home of Michael's father She put him to bed using little phrases in the Irish language sang traditional songs and filled their home with a romantic vision of a homeland over the ho.
Michael Brendan Dougherty ↠ 2 Free readRitish government tried to destroy Irish
by preventing it from being taught by outlawing its use and several other means The descendantspreventing it from being taught by outlawing its use and several other means The descendants outlawing its use and several other means The descendants the British used similar methods honing them fully to do the same to many Native American languages With this ind of comparison or a nuanced understanding of the topics he broaches Dougherty might have been able to look straight on at how history on both sides of the Atlantic have shaped him including as an English language speaker Instead his writes from the perspective of someone who is barely aware of his own culture beyond what the mass media offers up for entertainment
or the culture he is trying to claimI entered a Goodreads giveaway and received thisthe culture he is trying to claimI entered a Goodreads giveaway and received this as a winner not realizing that Dougherty is a writer for conservative magazines I was partway through the book when I decided to look him up because I felt like he was dancing around the issues he was using plenty of words to bring up I m not opposed to reading conservative views of the world though I don t subscribe to them because I think it is important to read many perspectives in order to understand the complex views that sit side by side in America However as I read this book I felt like it was written to prevent me from understanding how Dougherty really sees his place within America and within Ireland and uses broad strokes characteristics to describe himself and his peer group and a skewed retelling of a single event in Irish history as a replacement for specific incidents that highlight who he is and how he became that person I guess I expect an Irish or Irish American memoir having read several others to contain a lot self awareness and understanding of the contradictions in history and culture I really wanted to love this book but I am afraid I didn t I found it a little boring and very tedious in many spotsAlso unless you have a strong working nowledge of the Easter Rising in Ireland then a lot of what he writes and the names he mentions will be lost on you As far as memoir type books good this is a really good one I liked the way that this book was written in the style of letters I really appreciated the fact that author Michael shared his heart and soul with this book The letters really brought me closer to him This is exactly the way I want to feel and experience when I am reading a book about someone s life My heart ached for Michael Yet he had a wonderful mother She loved him Her inserting bits of Ireland to him when he was a young boy is sweet With each letter I grew closer to Michael He was honest in his letters I have been fortunate to never experience my parents going through a divorce Yet my nephews have and my heart breaks for them Readers who like reading nonfiction or memoirs will find this book heartfelt and real Mr Dougherty is so honest that it is refreshing to read that in a book This book is a recommended read A heartbreaking and beautiful book The only thing worse than an autobiography is an epistolary autobiography consisting of letters one hopes no one would ever send to a loved one full of pedantic drearily stylized recollections that the recipient also participated in as well as wikipedia style factoids about the Easter Rising that one suspects the recipient being Irish nows better than the Irish American writer The only thing worse than such an epistolary autobiography is such an epistolary autobiography w a political purpose In this case that purpose includes bemoaning nuclear family breakdown catholic laxening apologizing for nationalism including unconsciously Trumpism subtle bemoaning declining white birth rates promoting restrictions on abortion I m sure any form of contraception I came away from this book than ever convinced of the need for abortion to be free on demand If the author s mother had made that decision I d ve gotten back several hours of my life instead of begin morbidly fascinated to read this book see how a Irish American conservative travesties the anti colonial nationalisms radical republicianisms of Patrick Pearse James Connolly into something superficially palatable to US conservatives hellbent on the maintenance restoration of social hierarchy This one was ok for me I liked that it was told in letters but it started losing me when it went into the history of Ireland It got boring for me I enjoyed the evolution of his relationship with his father I did have a bit of a hard time believing that these were original letters with all of the history lessons and things that seemed a bit odd to include in a letter But it was fine and thought it was a solid memoi. St over the horizon He began writing letters to his father about what he remembered missed and longed for Those letters would become this bookAlong the way Michael realized that his longings were shared by many Americans of every ethnicity and background So many of us these days lack a clear sense of our cultural origins or even a vocabulary for expressing this lack so we avoid talking about our roots altogether As a result the traditional sense of pride has started to feel foreign and dangerous; we've become great consumers of cultural itsch but useless conservators of our true historyIn these deeply felt and fascinating letters Dougherty goes beyond his family's story to share a fascinating meditation on the meaning of identity in Ameri. About American nationhood is that it was designed to incorporate huddled
Masses Yearning To Breathe Freeyearning to breathe free vision doesn t have to focus on to incorporate huddled masses yearning to breathe free This vision doesn t have to focus on focused a good deal on the revisionist approaches to the Irish nationalist story And I found his comments on that revisionism helpfulLet s grant for a moment that we are all revisionists now That we all retell stories in light of our motives The next uestion would be What are your motives If we want noble things in life we will pull those noble things out of our history and experience If we are cynics we will see plenty of justification for our cynicism 48I m a conservative Protestant Christian and I m not going to distance myself from critiuing one theme in the book that I didn t uite understand Dougherty seems to be critical of an American culture which in his youth placed a stigma on the single parent status of his mother Widows get support that single moms don t get he said They made their bed with a man they weren t married to now they must lie in it even after he is gone My heart does go out to Dougherty s deceased mother who died lonely and afflicted It s true that I place blame on his father who never should have fathered a child with a woman to whom he was not married his later efforts to maintain connection with his son are nonetheless noted and appreciated he was far better than many men But the woman made a choice too and it affected her and her son for decades afterwards Illicit sex does this Our culture for the last fifty years has tried to wink at premarital sex and nudge it on everyone but this is what happens when people have sex without being married pain It isn t strait laced primness that causes me to oppose premarital sex but love for God who gave us the gift of sex and for peopleThis book is blurbed by JD Vance of whose work it made me think Oh how I wish that of the fatherless boys I new in long ministry on the wrong side of the tracks would turn out to be as thoughtful and successful as Vance and Dougherty Most fatherlessness never gets an elouent plea for attention Those of us who take fathers for granted should read these books to increase our gratitude and our determination to be faithful in love to our own children This book should really be called My Mother Gave Me Ireland Like much of the book the title is centered around a missing father when in fact most of the poignant and revealing scenes have to do with the author and his mother In a way the idea that Dougherty s father is the important figure shows the sexist blindness that he exhibits towards his mother She exposed him to Irish language stories and the Americanized versions of Irish culture These inform his childhood and understanding of Ireland but he can t seem to see Ireland for what is actually is or what his father is showing him of it The text is written with the pretense that it is letters to Dougherty s father However the pretense falls away in the middle of each of the letters which are like chapters One can understand the memories he recounts at the beginning and end of each chapter as something he might share with his father But the middle of each letter would be America splaining like man splaining Irish culture to an Irish person They explanations are missing an important understanding of the working class nature of Irish culture as well as the complex relationship Irish people have with their own history especially in an era when they are finally coming to terms with the role of the church as both liberator and oppressor If instead of recounting bits and pieces of the Easter Uprising Dougherty had instead written about the effect that the version of history he learned had upon his view of the world it would have made sense There are other pieces that lead me to feel the author had glossed over the way that two cultures had shaped his view of the world For example when he talks about the Kiowa language which is spoken by a small number of Native Americans from the Kiowa tribe and the attempts at preserving it among living speakers he uses it as a way to show that his fascination with Irish is not in vain He suggests that Irish is dying and that most people speak it as a second language and without pride in Ireland My own experience traveling in Ireland suggests a much complex picture with people in some parts of the west taking a lot of pride in speaking it and passing it on to their children while some in Dublin look at it with a fatalistic approach Dougherty s version lacks nuance Further he misses a major point in his comparison to the Kiowa language The RizonEvery few years his father returned from Dublin for a visit but those encounters were never long enough Devastated by his father's departures Michael eventually consoled himself by believing that fatherhood was best understood as a check in the mail Wearied by the Irish itsch of the 1990s he began to reject his mother's Irish nationalism as a romantic mythYears later when Michael found out that he would soon be a father himself he could no longer afford to be jaded; he would need to tell his daughter who she is and where she comes from He immediately re immersed himself in the biographies of firebrands like Patrick Pearse and studied the Irish language And he decided to reconnect with the man who had left him behind and the nation ju. .