For St. Patrick's Day, three new books about Irish and Irish-American history.
The Emerald Diamond: How the Irish Transformed America's Greatest Pastime (Harper) by Charley Rosen covers the bases from Irish players' dominance of the game's earliest era to modern athletes like Nolan Ryan and Tug McGraw.
On an Irish Island (Alfred A. Knopf) by Robert Kanigel is the fascinating story of the clash of cultures in the early 20th century on the Great Blasket, a remote island where traditional Irish language and culture endured — for a while.
Rogues and Redeemers: When Politics Was King in Irish Boston (Crown) by Gerard O'Neill is an investigative journalist's look at a century in which power was held by men ranging from President John Kennedy's grandfather John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald to Kevin White, the mayor who tried to manage the busing crisis of the 1960s and '70s.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor