The Nation: An Apple That Fell Near the Tree

Politics positively saturates the life of Tip O'Neill's family. His five children —ranging in age from 22 to 30—can remember running for the swimming pool as youngsters and shouting: "Last one in is a Republican!"

Growing up in a solidly Irish-American district of North Cambridge, O'Neill developed a fiercely partisan love for Democratic politics. His stern, teetotaling father, the son of a bricklayer who came over from County Cork, was a local political power. For 35 years he was head of the city's water system, with 1,700 men on his payroll and access...

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