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Crossing the Barriers -How NY’s Irish & Italians Overcame Their Rivalry &Learned to Love

It’s hard to imagine now, but New York’s Irish and Italian communities were at one time bitter rivals, two immigrant groups battling each other for power in the streets, unions, the job market, crime, politics, and even their church. Based on his book “An Unlikely Union: The Love-Hate Story of New York’s Irish and Italians,” Paul Moses will discuss how these one-time enemies overcame their ethnic rivalry, and what that can mean for us today. Book details here:


Paul Moses is a professor emeritus of journalism at Brooklyn College and a former reporter and editor at Newsday. He is the author of “The Saint and the Sultan: the Crusades, Islam, and Francis of Assisi’s Mission of Peace” (Doubleday, 2009), and “An Unlikely Union: The Love-Hate Story of New York’s Irish and Italians” (NYU Press, 2015). He is a contributing writer at Commonweal magazine and writes for other outlets as well, most recently including The Daily Beast,, and DocumentedNY. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife Maureen.

Moderator Emre Celik is the Executive Director at Peace Islands New York. He has held positions in numerous non-profits in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Washington DC, and New York working on educational and interfaith projects. He is currently completing his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies examining civil Islam in the United States and regularly speaks on civil Islam, Sufism, Muslim diaspora communities, and human rights issues and has spoken at Harvard, Georgetown, American, George Washington, and various other universities and institutions in the United States. His op-eds, interviews, and social media are available here:

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