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Member: liamfoley

CollectionsYour library (1,165), Currently reading (3), Favorites (2), All collections (1,167)

Reviews35 reviews

Tagshistory (420), Catholicism (335), Irish (239), literature (121), military (109), American (101), philosophy (89), Penguin (86), medieval (81), theology (72) — see all tags

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About meArchivist, I also have interests in philosophy (especially ethics and informal logic) Most of my books, however, are in history, I am interested in Irish and U.S. history. Always interested in discussing these matters. Content to be a conservative, traditional Catholic. If you drop by feel free to say hi.

About my librarya few books in theology but my main interests are in history and philosophy, Irish literature also features. A few rare books and quiet a few niche books. I am always surprised by the number of books that I do not share with anyone else. Duplicate works most likely means that they are in multiple locations.


GroupsAncient and Medieval Manuscripts, Archivists on LibraryThing, Catholic Tradition, History at 30,000 feet: The Big Picture, History: On learning from and writing history, Irish & Celtic Studies, Irish Librarythingers, Mac Users at LibraryThing, Medieval Europe, Military Historyshow all groups

Favorite authorsAlbert Camus, Frederick Copleston, Jared Diamond, Graham Greene, Peter Kreeft, Mary Lavin, Sigrid Undset, P. G. Wodehouse (Shared favorites)


Favorite bookstoresBooks-A-Million #877, Chapters Bookstore, Charlie Byrne's Bookshop, Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe, O'Mahony's Booksellers

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Real nameLiam

LocationGalway, Ireland

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/liamfoley (profile)
/catalog/liamfoley (library)

Member sinceOct 14, 2006

Currently readingTakeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy by Charlie Savage
The Golden Age: The Spanish Empire of Charles V by Hugh Thomas
The Road to Serfdom: Text and Documents--The Definitive Edition (The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek, Volume 2) by F. A. Hayek

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That book is awful. I only read the first 100 pages before putting it down and taking a break on something else. So far its just an anthology of who wasn't paying Deposit Interest Retention Tax with no real analysis of the crisis. I'm working on a presentation for our Irish Liberty Forum which I hope to give in August on all the books and analysis on the crisis I've read by McWilliams, Anthony Sweeney, Morgan Kelly, The Tool, etc. I will definitely do a slating review on it soon enough!
Thanks for the link to the Mises group!
hi Liam,

The atlas arrived yesterday, and it looks like it will be a fairly quick read. It also looks like I'll be ordering one of the other books you recommended, since it doesn't go into much detail. Unfortunately, my book budget is already blown -- I guess I'm curious about too many topics.

I don't know much about the English conquest, nor the period afterward when I understand the English had a campaign to eliminate any resistance.

BTW, one of my great-grandfathers was from Ireland (McCarty). Perhaps that is why I enjoy Irish ales. :-)

- Noel
I ordered The Atlas of Irish History. Thanks for the suggestion!
Thanks for the book idea. I was hoping for a book that covered the period prior to the famine. I did also impose upon David Hayton (of the history faculty at the Queen's University in Belfast) and he graciously suggested a book by Thomas Bartlett, ‘Ireland; a history’ (Cambridge University Press, to be published in May 2010). Unfortunately, they (the Cambridge University Press) are usually expensive.
Would you be able to recommend a good survey of the history of Ireland? Here's wishing you a good Spring!

You know, I've never looked into what Killeen meant, though I know it was named for a railroad executive that never visited the town. Now that I know that the "Kill" or "Cill" means "church," several Irish surnames make sense. I got my BA and MA at Tarleton in Stephenville, which is right down the road from Dublin, Texas - the home of Dublin Dr Pepper - see, it's a small world.

Thanks for the note!
I have uploaded a cover for No Band of Brothers: Problems of the Rebel High Command by Steven E. Woodworth.
And those five books that we do share are great ones! Unfortunately, I don't have any good books on archiving, so I have none to recommend. Do you have any suggestions for me?
Great. Send me your e-mail address (mine is, and I'll e-mail you the book.



Was wondering if you'd be interested in reviewing my new novel and posting your comments here as well as a few other book-related sites. Saw you liked Butcher Boy, and I thought you might like my novel since it's also about a disturbed adolescent and a bit dark. I could e-mail you the novel in an e-book format if you'd like. Let me know if you're interested. Here's a link to a summary in case you're interested:

Greetings! Thanks for the note. I'm very interested in Irish history and hope to visit Dublin again - sometime.

A relative new book - Mick - by Peter Hart, a Canadian, is very good on Michael Collins.

All the best.

Hi, I haven't yet read The Last of Summer but have read and enjoyed other books by Kate O'Brien. Anne
Thanks for the welcome!

Actually Judeo-Christianity is the largest area of the collection right now. The tag for those books is "White Blue" and it shows that there are 103 books. Probably 1/5 of those are various editions of Bibles. I don't know if you're familiar with Unitarian Universalism. While our roots are in Christianity the faith has broadened to include exploration of spirituality in many forms.

If you're interested in knowing more about UUism this is a basic explanation:
and this is a good article as well:

Have a great day!
Vicki, UUCLR Librarian
I'll pass on your problem to someone at the Royal Irish Academy, maybe there is some work-around they know of. I'll give them your email as shown on your profile
it worked in my old mac but the CD got cracked a couple of years ago - never let children near your shelves! - so it probably wouldn't work in the one I have now. CDROM was already going out of fashion as a publishing format when the thing was originally published. I'm proud to say I was involved in the production of that. I proof-read the latin text and aligned it with with the parallel translation :)
Dear Liam,

The denomination I belong to has links with many other Protestant churches; though none of these would be regarded as the 'mainstream' denominations. We believe that the main denominations have gravely departed from God's infallible Word in a great many areas of doctrine and practice. We do not regard Liberal churchmen as being Protestants at all, but heretics who murder men's souls.

As for the Church of Rome, you may know our relation to it from our Subordinate Standards; particularly from the Westminster Confession of Faith Ch. 21.

May I leave you with a few quotations which will give you some idea of what we hold and endeavor to be to the Glory of God.

“A man’s capacity for such propriety in Christ’s righteousness is union with Him. Christ’s taking our nature into union with Him was His capacity to take our sins and condemnation on himself; and His taking our persons into union is our capacity to have that interest in His righteousness so as to be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Obadiah Grew {Puritan}, Christ Our Righteousness, p.?

“Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant” - Heb. 12:24. Jesus Christ is the sum and quintessence of the gospel; the wonder of angels; the joy and triumph of saints. The name of Christ is sweet, it is as music in the ear, honey in the mouth, and a cordial at the heart.” Thomas Watson {Puritan}, Unknown

“By grace we are what we are in justification, and work what we work in sanctification.” Richard Sibbes {Puritan}, Unknown

“Perfect holiness is the aim of the saints on earth, and it is the reward of the saints in Heaven.” Joseph Caryl {Puritan}, Unknown

“By walking with God, I mean, a sincere endeavour, punctually and precisely, to manage, conduct, and dispose all our affairs, thoughts, words, and deeds, all our behaviour and conversation, in reverence and fear, with humility and singleness of heart, as in the sight of an invisible God, under the perpetual presence of his all-seeing, glorious, pure eye; and, by a comfortable consequence, to enjoy, by the assistance and exercise of faith, an unutterable sweet communion and humble familiarity with his holy Majesty; in a word, to live in heaven upon earth.” Robert Bolton {Puritan}, General Directions for a Comfortable Walking with God

“While we are zealous for good works, let us be careful not to put them in the place of Christ’s righteousness, and not to advance anything which may betray others into so dreadful a delusion.” Matthew Henry {Puritan}, Unknown

“1. Some actions of God’s love unto us are so in Christ, that they are wholly suspended on him, and his merits are the only procuring cause of them: for example, forgiveness of sins is an action of God’s love unto us, and yet this wholly depends upon Christ and his merits; so that his precious blood must either procure this mercy for us from God, else they will never be forgiven; and this and the like love of God is both in Christ and for Christ. 2. There are some other actions of God’s love which arise merely and only out of the absolute will of God, without any concurrence of Christ’s merits; as the eternal purpose of God, whereby he hath determined so choose some men to salvation: this is an action of God’s love, merely arising out of his absolute will, without Christ’s merits. For Christ is a Mediator, and all his merits are the effects of his love, not the cause of it. And yet this love, though it be not for Christ, yet it is in Christ.” John Randall {Very Early Puritan}, In a Sermon upon Romans 8

“Never did any man take Jesus Christ savingly, who took him not for a husband and a Lord, to serve, love and obey him for ever after, as well as a saviour to disburden him of his sins; as a King to govern him by his Word and Spirit, as well as a Priest to wash him in his blood.” Robert Bolton {Puritan}, Instructions for a Right Comforting

“There is no possible way in which a sinner can be freed from the perpetual obligation of the law as a covenant than be presenting, in the hand of faith to it, the infinitely perfect and meritorious righteousness of the second Adam as a full answer to all its high demands. When this glorious righteousness is received by faith, and graciously imputed to a man, the law in its covenant form is fully satisfied with respect to him. A sinner depends on the righteousness of Christ for justification to no good purpose if he does not rely on it only, and neither in whole nor in part on his own obedience.” John Colquhoun, Unknown

“They that are truly converted are new men, new creatures; new not only within, but without; they are sanctified throughout, in spirit, soul and body; old things are passed away, all things are become new; they have new hearts, and new eyes, new ears, new tongues, new hands, new feet…they walk in newness of life, and continue to do so to the end of life.” Jonathan Edwards {Puritan}, Religious Affections, pp. 313-14

Sorry for the amount, but you can read them a few at a time. Feel free to visit

Yours Faithfully,

I'm turning green with envy!!! I've not made it to Ireland yet, but the last trip to England, my traveling companion finally said "if one more person says 'ooh, there's a castle' or 'look! look! there are some church ruins'," he would throw us out of the car. Treading the stairs at Glastonbury that have been trodden(??) for 1200 years and climbing up to the top of the tor at midnight, were two of the greatest experiences of my life! I know, silly American! I haven't entered my archeaology books yet. Good hearing from you!

Paragraph 1 -- I should have said "the intersection of the Anglo-Saxon gospels with the Old Saxon _Heliand_". And I know, I'm all over the map, but I started graduate school in 1977, dropped out (for personal health reasons) in 1986, and came back in 2002. Things have changed just a little!
Medieval English and Arthurian legend as it moves from the OE chronicles, through the French and German romances of the 12th c, back into England (particular at the odd combination of Germanic epic and Arthurian romance that SGGK is). I'm taking specialist comps tomorrow in medieval literature and am looking towards the gospels and the _Heliand_ for my dissertation.
My secondary field is contemporary American lit, especially the novelists of the 1980s and into the 1990s -- (I just gave a very well-received paper on "Bakhtin's dialogic imagination, Medieval exegesis, and Alice Walker's _By The Light of My Father's Smile_" as a half session paired with Dr. Kim Sisson on "To Hold as T'were the Mirror up to Hate: Terrence McNally's Response to the Christian Right in 'Corpus Christi'".)
My tertiary was Renaissance non-dramatic literature, but I am now more interested in the drama.
My M.A. in 1981 was in literary theory -- "Deconstruction: From Derrida to Yale" with a chapter each on J. Hillis Miller, Paul de Mann, Geoffrey Hartman, and Harold Bloom. I was lucky that Derrida came to Emory for a whole week and Miller taught at Emory for that same semester and I was allowed to sit in on all of Miller's classes and on all of Derrida's lectures.
Long answer for a short question -- but our shared interests were why I was surprised that we did not have more books in common.
For fun, I read murder mysteries and fantasy, mainly with strong female protagonists.
I am really surprised from your essential books for Medieval Europe thatwe only have 11 books in common. Of course, I have not finished entering mine and some of the ones you list, I have read but don't own.
Reply to:
Professor Smith,
LT attributes you as being the author of this book: Is this so?

William L. Smith, smithwil in Library Thing, is NOT the author. Thank you for asking, and pointing it out!


Here I'm biased, as Francis Carty is one of my best friends. I'm not myself terribly interested in McQuaid per se, but FXC's focus here on his efforts at reputation management I find interesting (both Francis and I have taught public relations at university). It's very well written, as is everything Francis does. He has also written an autobiographical account of his own religious calling: Why I Said No to God, which you might find of interest.

I'm in Vienna. I saw that I show up on your map as being in Graz. Not quite sure why.

I'm not really up-to-date on the various Theological faculties on the Austrian Universities. I attend lectures as my health permits at the Theological Courses of the Archdiocese of Vienna - which is for lay people. That's where I have been learning Hebrew. There are are proper courses, but those aren't suitable for me. I just go to lectures, and this Hebrew class. However the lectures are great as the speakers come from various places in Austria and Germany. Most of my theology I have learned from books, and some from a distance course out of England. It's a lot more exciting to sit there and listen to someone, and maybe be able to ask questions.

We lived in Geneva for a while, and although I much prefer Vienna, due to the WCC and the Lutheran World Federation there were often interesting things going on in English. The Lutheran pastor knew I was interested and somewhat informed, so he got me into a lot of things that weren't generally open.
And I am in the middle of a long attempt to react to a comment that you haven't really prayed the psalms until you can do it in Hebrew. There is more to it than that, but I have discovered that there is a lot of truth in it. I also have gained a lot of insight into both the Old and New Testaments. This summer I'm taking a 'relaxing' break to upgrade my Greek skills a bit. Hebrew is the first time I've tried to deal with a non-Indoeuropean language.

Actually, I can read Latin - sort of - better than either Greek or Hebrew anyway, thanks to Mr. Cor and two years of High School Latin, and several decades of looking at Latin inscriptions. It might be interesting, at that, to read a facing page edition of 'City of God'. I would read the English or German, but check out interesting passages in the Latin. By the end of that I would either add Latin to the languages I need to work on, or give up on it entirely.

BTW our 'books you share' category will be a lot higher once I finish getting my library entered. I saw several in your library. For now, Raymond E. Brown already gives me a good opinion of you. I'm an American by birth and passport, Church of England by choice, although now going to Old Catholic services, and a fairly permanent resident of Austria.
I don't have Joseph & Chico yet. I read about it in the National Catholic Register. Then I just found out it is available to pre-order on Amazon, so I added it. I hope to get it for Easter for my sons.
Uh, Hi Liam - Yes, I am aware that English is used in Ireland - I assume this was a joke? Do you have any suggestions for books - please don't say Ulysses, I'll confess I've tried and failed to read it about 10 times!

All the best!

I'm glad to have found someone who shares my affinity for O'Connor. That is such an excellent collection. The title story had such a personal focus, and Larry's family symbolized O'Connor's family in many ways. O'Connor even admits that he has written about his father in various disguises.

I'm leaving for Galway mid-week for the holidays and am looking forward to it. Don't know how much reading I'll get in but I'm taking Frank O'Connor's Collected Stories with me.

Hope your holidays are filled with peace, love and joy.


Thanks for getting in touch. Have just read Waters' Lapsed Agnostic. Didn't enjoy it much personally.I often don't agree with him, but he is generally interesting at least. I found this book too long/repetitive: some quite banal rants against, eg, consumerism, which may be perfectly sensible but just not very insightful. As an atheist, I did find him a bit unnecessarily dismissive of why people would choose not to believe in God - he is interesting on his own path, but seems to feel that because he has rejected one way of life, it stands to reason that everyone should. Anyway, hope you enjoy it.

Conor McGrath
Yes, I think going into finance in Ireland today would set you up well. Change is happening fast there. Despite the economic boom, the quality of life is still good! Enjoy....
Hello! A break sounds nice. Were you getting your STL? BA? I teach theology at a University in Queens, NY. Got my PhD at Maynooth College.
Hi Liam. We're home from Ireland. What a great trip. The weather was really quite good by Irish standards. Rain lots of days, but never heavy, and usually not lasting too long with lots of sun mixed in too. My wife loved it so much she's nearly got me planning our next trip already.

Hello--just responding now to your comment. "A professional moral theologian?" Yes. Strange but true. And, more to the point, an avid reader. I see other connections in interest/history as well: I studied in Maynooth College for a time!
Liam, sorry I missed your comment to me a few months ago. I forgot about people being able to leave messages here. Much of my Irish library is reference books for writing and editing on an Irish history website that I've been doing with a friend for the last ten years or so. It's called "The Wild Geese Today," you can find it here: . My new wife and I are actually leaving for two weeks in Ireland tomorrow afternoon. We'll be staying in Co. Offaly, so we can travel out in all directions and see lots of the country. I've been twice before, but this is her first trip.

Joe (wgman)
Hi Liam, Thanks for that checked out the site and it is very good. All the best. Jimmy.
Hi Liam,

Yes - I just saw the GGS production on the TV and thought it was much better than the book!!! And when I saw Jared in the flesh - I realized that his personality reflected my feelings about the book ----- bo....and insip.. - perhaps I dare not say it as I know you liked his book. I did write a review but maybe I am too unfair.

Anyway - nice to hear from you again.

Just received a Mary Lavin title in the mail - looking forward to some Irish fare...

Cheers, Karen
Thanks for that Liam,I will check it out. Kind regards, Jimmy.

Medieval cities is a really good book if you are a history buff- fascinating to realize that the development of European cities and especially the Meditterean was so strongly influenced by Islam. I had thought it was just a kinda cultural collapse mainly caused by attacks from Barbarians that stymied Europe into the Dark Ages.

I have to confess that some parts of the book are quite lucid for me and others not - I think he makes assumptions about a certain level of knowledge that I perhaps do not have. If you are a history buff you will find him very good.

Some of his comments date the book - for example taking about the current Italian states - long since unified.

Are you interested in history - Medieval in particular?

Cheers, Karen
So....a leading question from your last post - what is your first great passion - Ireland, ??? Not necessary to answer, of course. It would be great if you could let me know your Irish favs - maybe two or three authors you cannot live without//

Cheers, Karen
Hi again Liam, Hope you don't mind if I exert some voyeurism over your library - it really does look interesting. I did post a review on the GGS book - but you may not agree based on your last post to me.

Cheers, Karen
Hi Liam,

I see that you have Jared Diamond as a favourite author.

I have just finished reading 'Guns, Germs and Steel' after it gathered dust on my shelf for a few years.

I don't know how you found it - but I thought the book ideas very interesting, the writing style pedantic and repetitive (more in keeping with a textbook style), and overall it was a bit of a slog. Ouch - I generally love non-fiction but like a bit more of a creative style to presentation unless I am taking a University course. Would love to know what you thought.

Thanks for the heads up about the Brendan Voyage video! I'll see if I can track down a copy.
The view of Orr's book on my blog is a bit longer but only because I have included more personal information. I thought it was an admirably clear book on the experiences of the soldiers on the ground, making it easy to track the actions of individual units; as I said, a bit short on the wider political context but you can't have everything.
Good day, Liam.

I see that you have a copy of Mary Lavin's Tales From Bective Bridge in your library, and I was wondering if you have read it and what your opinion, if any, was of her. I'm currently reading from her Collected Stories. She's been criminally neglected here in the U.S., but I'll put her work up against any of the masters of the short story form.

Hi Liam
Just saw your name on SeanLong's profile. So, a Happy St Patrick's Day to you as well.
P.S. I am Australian but my mother-in-law is from Ballybunion in Kerry.
We left Ireland when I was five-years old, Liam. My Da was originally from Fermanagh, my Ma from Clare. Since Da was Protestant and Ma was Catholic, the marriage was not approved of and the resulting circumstances forced them to emigrate from Ireland. I, as well as all of my siblings were brought up as Irish-Catholics in the U.S., going through 12 years of Catholic school and graduating from various Catholic Universities. My sister wants to go back next summer and take a trip to Fermanagh, although Da's relatives are gone. I won't go there for obvious reasons, I love Clare and that's where I stay when I go back.
Not many Irish here in Florida, but I do have one friend from Galway who I used to study Irish with.

Funny though, when I go back my brother's kids refer to me as "Uncle Sean, the Yank." I have to remind them that I was born there. And I still have trouble understanding the slang, especially in Cork. When my niece said her sister was "out doing a line with her boyfriend," well, you can understand what I thought. I had no idea that it meant she was out with him on a date.
I was back in Clare last year, and try to get back once every two, three years. Lately, I've not been wanting to return to the States, but alas, it's not in the cards at the moment.
Greetings, Liam

Yes, as Irishman we should be sharing more books! I have yet to input all the books that I bought in Ireland over the years which I keep in two separate book cases. I have some titles that may interest you.

I am intrigued by your library, especially your Catholic, Irish and history tags. Do you get back to Limerick much?

Sláinte chugat
I see you are interested in theology. I wonder if you might be interested in my Bible Reading Notes, covering the Old & New Testaments, posted in November 2006 at
Happy New Year.
About half ar up. The resta re in storage but I hope to catalogue them soon or over the Christmas holidays. I have some rare Irish books and am presently expecting to hear if I got a copy of the 1768 Focloir of John O'Brien at an auction. Fingers are crossed.
Thank you for joining the Political Conservatives group. Welcome!
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