Joseph E. Fahey’s James K. McGuire: Boy Mayor and Irish Nationalist (Syracuse Univ. Press, 2014) is the story of a self-educated, charismatic leader who overcame personal tragedy in childhood and was elected the youngest mayor of a major city in America at age 26.
A reformer with a knack for politics, James McGuire (1868–1923) was elected mayor of Syracuse three times as a Democrat in a Republican bastion. Fahey argues that as a candidate for governor in 1898, McGuyire nearly derailed the rise of Theodore Roosevelt and that his ideas and positions informed the candidacy of William Jennings Bryan in his quest for the presidency and the platform of the Democratic Party in those elections.
Fahey narrates McGuire’s remarkable rise to become a figure in national politics as well as his questionable business dealings along the way. Indicted twice during his life, he was investigated by Congress and the Department of Justice for his advocacy of Irish freedom.
McGuire befriended and aided Éamon de Valera and the Irish freedom fighters of that time, using his influence at the highest levels of the American government to further the cause of Ireland.
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