From his election in 1940 as Majority Leader to his last day as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1971, John W. McCormack of Boston occupied the highest rungs of leadership in the Congress. Many biographies and autobiographies cover the lives and public careers of five Speakers, but not one has been devoted to McCormack — not because he was unimportant and irrelevant. He was a very private man who could rearrange the facts of his life to suit his political needs. The story had great resonance in Boston because its Irish gatekeepers — James Michael Curley, John F. "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, Patrick J. "P.J." Kennedy, and Martin Lomasney — led lives identical to that of McCormack. They accepted the reinvented history and watched him move rapidly up the city's political ladder. Through a detailed examination of city, state, and federal documents, secular and sacerdotal, in the United States and Canada, a clearer portrait of McCormack emerges.
"Irish Identity Politics: The Reinvention of Speaker John W. McCormack of Boston,"
New England Journal of Public Policy: Vol. 15
, Article 3.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umb.edu/nejpp/vol15/iss1/3