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SHOUTS: The Great War Comes to New York by James Ryan

SHOUTS: The Great War Comes to New York

by James Ryan

576 pages
It is 1915. The Great War comes to New York.

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Category: Fiction:Historical
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About the Book
By 1910, forty percent of the population of New York City was foreign-born. With over 5 million people, New York was bigger than the next three largest cities combined: Chicago, Philadelphia and St. Louis. Half of New York City was German and Irish born immigrants and their descendants. More people of Irish descent lived in New York City than in Dublin. New York City was the third largest “German” city in the world. Nowhere were the powerful effects of this Irish-German juggernaut more directly felt than in the Bronx. By the working class Irish in the southernmost Mott Haven section, and their nearby German neighbors who thrived in Melrose and Morrisania. The coming war would change everything.

SHOUTS is a novel of love and war. It tells of a once-thriving, long-vanished urban immigrant society. The author a hybrid third-generation child of these Bronx people, an Irish-German American “mongrel.” Such mongrels are legion in America. German and Irish blood courses through the veins of almost 100 million of us. Indeed, America is a mongrel nation. SHOUTS recreates the nature of that time when a century of world peace was shattered by an assassination in Sarajevo of an archduke and his wife on June 28, 1914. A month later the world went to war and in four years had killed seventeen million of its citizens. Whatever innocence was left died too. SHOUTS tells of the destructive forces of war on the home front. To the people, their hopes and dreams, their loves. To the community, to its economic and social achievements, and its reputation. And to democracy, to its high-blown principles, its rock-solid protections, its fragility. How quickly things change. Now, as then, we live in the stink and shadow of war. Now, as then, we struggle to confront the real relations with our fellow citizens of this world. Then, the danger was the Germans. Now, it is someone else. How some things remain the same.

It is 1915 and the American melting pot has become a crucible. The Great War looms. You are in the Bronx, a bastion of ethnic German enterprise and struggling Irish laborers. German spies and saboteurs roam New York City. Firebrand Irish street corner orators denounce the “British” war. Paranoia and politics rage in the streets. Everyone’s patriotism is suspect. Mistrust and antagonism rule. The government cracks down and the social and economic fabrics of the city begin to unravel.

SHOUTS is a romance, a written choir that sings and plays. It speaks as profusely as the people of that century-ago time spoke: priests and bartenders, boxers and violinists, politicians and longshoremen, brewmasters and spies. They shout out their stories, telling of their origins, their hopes, their fears, their dreams, their loves. While of Irish and German roots, these people stand for all the subsequent generations of races, colors and creeds that still arrive from distant lands to make new lives in America. SHOUTS tells everyone’s story.

 

 

About the Author
James Ryan James Ryan is a native New Yorker. A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, he holds advanced degrees in economics and English literature. His poetry, fiction, literary criticism, and political commentary appear in numerous publications and on his website, Brightening Glance.

 

 

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