Jackson and Costello have told the story well. They have placed it in a vivid context of political events in Ireland and England, giving justified prominence to the rise and fall of Parnell, the Easter Rising of 1916, the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, the Civil War of 1922, and the establishing of the Irish Free State. So much to the good. But the main problem in writing a life of JSJ is that, except for the destiny of fathering a genius, he was a man of little distinction. He was James's father, and that's the long and the short of it.
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