Labor: The Lad from Gourtloughera

On St. Patrick's Day 40 years ago, Michael Joseph Quill, late of County Kerry and the Irish Republican Army, landed at Ellis Island. He had flipped a coin, it was said, to decide between New York and Melbourne, and New York won—in a manner of speaking.

A handsome, burly broth of a lad, he worked hard, organized a powerful national union, shouted and weaseled his way through a thousand fights with Communists and antiCommunists, employers and brother unionists, mayors and Presidents, and finally blundered into the strike that everyone said he lacked the...

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