James P. MacGuire was born in New York and educated at Johns Hopkins and Cambridge. He has worked, inter alia, at Time Inc., Macmillan, The Health Network, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. His poetry, fiction and journalism have been published in many national publications. He is the author or co-author of ten books and two beloved sons, Pierce and Rhoads.
In Real Lace Revisited James MacGuire does for American Irish Catholics what Evelyn Waugh did for those eccentric English recusants at Brideshead: with wit, insight, and critically engaging affection he brings several generations to a life beyond life. But this account, soaring from Birmingham's springboard, has the added authority of a true insider who grew up with the very families he chronicles--from the McDonnells and Murrays to the Kennedys and Buckleys. His personal appraisal rings as pitch-perfect as a Louis Auchincloss novel of WASP society. Birmingham must be beaming from Paradise as he shines here by reflected glory. As Scott Fitzgerald best put it: 'If it wasn't life, it was magnificent'. -- Charles Scribner An invaluable and absorbing chronicle filled with rare, elegant historical scholarship... Whether coursing through the fortunes and misfortunes of the Kennedy and Buckley families; celebrating the horseracing, hellraising and hilarity of Saratoga Springs; reminiscing about his own and others' days at Portsmouth Priory and the "Grottlesex" schools; pubcrawling in storied New York taverns; or brooding about the sexual abuse scandals and the plight of the Catholic Church in America, MacGuire is an attentive, shrewd, and incomparably entertaining companion for anyone who wishes to tour Irish America's most curious precincts. -- Michael O. Garvey, author of Confessions of a Catholic Worker James MacGuire's Real Lace Revisited is a must read for anyone interested in the chronicles of the great Irish American Families of the past century. You will appreciate the historical accuracy and hilarious account provided by MacGuire. Dominick Dunne and Thomas Cahill could not compete with MacGuire's mastery of the subject. The uproarious characters and touching tales are welcome bits of nostalgia. MacGuire has brilliantly captured every detail. -- Alfred E. Smith For those of a certain age and ancestry, Real Lace Revisited, though thoroughly enjoyable, cannot help but prove wistful. In his refreshing way, Jamie MacGuire paints a beautiful portrait of a beautiful era, now faded, of important and colorful characters (some with, some without, brogues) who proved central to the formation of a great nation. In particular, in a time when religious freedom has been shaken by ideology, his Foreword profiling the Carrolls of Maryland is a welcome history lesson that should be read proudly by all Americans, whether "Irish" or not. -- Jack Fowler, Publisher, National Review