I was drawn to history as a discipline largely by the influence of my undergraduate professors at Fordham College in the 1950’s, particular, Ross J. S. Hoffman, A. Paul Levack, and Sam Telfair.
At the University of Chicago, where I received my MA (1962), my areas of concentration were Modern British and Modern European History, and my MA essay was on “Daniel O’Connell and the Whigs”. (At that time in most American Universities Irish historical studies were treated as part of British History). My mentor was John Clive.
My Ph.D. was from Columbia (1969), where my mentor was Robert K. Webb. My areas of concentration were British History and Modern European History and my dissertation was on “Hilaire Belloc and the New Liberalism”.
While doing graduate studies and before coming to Fordham I taught at Manhattan College, Rider College, Brooklyn College, and Pace College, teaching primarily basic introductory courses on Western Civilization.
At Fordham I taught courses in Modern English History, English Constitutional History, German History (19th and 20th centuries), and Twentieth Century Europe. But my major attention turned toward various aspects of Irish History, offering courses on Modern Irish History, Twentieth Century Irish History, and Northern Ireland. Naturally I also taught introductory courses like Shaping of the Modern World and the interdisciplinary offering, History and Society.
My scholarly interests have been on British political history, conservative political thought, the role of religion in society, the constitutional political tradition in Ireland, and the development of democratic institutions in Ireland since Independence.