St. Louis is never considered one of those traditionally Irish cities. "Leading historians of Irish-America...have ignored the record of the Irish in St. Louis," declares Father William Barnaby Faherty, in his new book "The St. Louis Irish: An Unmatched Celtic Community." With Father Faherty's book (it's his 27th), perhaps St. Louis will finally earn its place on the Irish American map. Father Faherty goes all the way back to 1776, when only one Irish native and an American of Irish descent lived in St. Louis. But then, to use the title of his second chapter, the "Gauls Welcomed the Gaels." The many French in the area saw more and more Irish come along. Father Faherty ably marches the reader through the decades which follow. Perhaps it's a bit strong to say (in the words of one Missouri historian) that St. Louis was "the chief Irish settlement in the United States." Still, Father Faherty makes it clear that the Irish left a profound mark on St. Louis, and Irish St. Louisians would go to Washington and across the world and make a splash in sports, labor and politics. (

270 pages / $19.95 / University of Missouri Press)