The fate of peace – President Obama in Northern Ireland

The fate of peace: President Obama in Northern Ireland by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News 17 June 2013 My marriage is a transatlantic union between a Midwesterner and a Belfast-born Northern Irishwoman. Fittingly, my wife and I were delighted to receive tickets to hear another Midwesterner, President Barack Obama, at Belfast's Waterfront Hall. With... Continue Reading →

Looking for Aunt Susans in Northern Ireland

Dear Editor, As an American living and working in Northern Ireland, I read Lexington's article, "One nation, with Aunt Susan", with particular interest. The US Constitution protects free speech and freedom of religion, but too often people misconstrue this as a secular project. Instead, its heritage comes from religious non-conformists who felt compelled to leave... Continue Reading →

Applying Obama to NI

I was among hundreds at the Queen’s University organised event to watch the live broadcast of President Obama’s inaugural address, and I couldn’t help but filter his words through my world of Northern Ireland. Of course, others have pondered whether the people Northern Ireland -- or for that matter, Ireland, the UK, France, Germany or... Continue Reading →

Book review – A Garden of Paper Flowers (Rosa EHRENREICH)

I had the privilege of participating in a study abroad programme while enrolled at Boston University. I attended St Catherine's College, Oxford for the Michaelmus term, 1989. I experienced the peculiarities and uniqueness that is Oxford. No one describes this better than Rosa Ehrenreich in A Garden of Paper Flowers. I immediately identified with her reactions to the arcane customs, traditions... Continue Reading →

Book review – Born Fighting (James WEBB)

There's no denying the fighting spirit of the Scots-Irish, particularly as James Webb describes the defence of the frontier in the Appalachian Mountains. However, Webb goes too far in defining this attribute as somehow ethnically unique. Webb also overplays the Scots-Irish role in the American War of Independence. One giveaway passage is, "Although the trained minds of New England's Puritan culture... Continue Reading →

BBC Radio Ulster – Seven Days – America Right Nation

BBC Radio Ulster programme, Seven Days, reviews and discusses topic about book, The Right Nation: Why America is Different, written by John Micklethwait and Adrian Woolridge. Expert contributions by John Micklethwait and Nick Cohen (The Guardian). Panellists were Fionuala Meredith, Newt Emerson, Brian Ashworth ("an American Christian missionary living in Bangor") and Allan Leonard ("a... Continue Reading →

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑