James P. Carroll

James P. Carroll

Infobox Writer
name = James P. Carroll
caption = James P. Carroll

imagesize =
caption = H
birthdate = birth date|1943|1|22|mf=y
birthplace = Chicago, Illinois United States
nationality = American
deathdate =
deathplace =
occupation = Former Catholic Priest, Novelist, Journalist
genre = Religion and Politics
movement =
spouse = Alexandra Marshall
children = 3
influences =
influenced =
awards =

James P. Carroll (born 22 January 1943 in Chicago, Illinois) is a noted author, novelist, and columnist for the "Boston Globe".

Youth, Education, & Service as a Priest

James P. Carroll was born in Chicago, the second of five sons of Joseph Carroll and his wife Mary. At the time, his father was a Special Agent of the FBI, which he remained until being seconded to, and later commissioned by, the US Air Force as an Intelligence Officer in 1948. After this, Carroll was raised in the Washington, D.C. area and in Germany. He was educated at Washington’s Priory School and at an American high school, the H. H. Arnold, in Wiesbaden, Germany ["House of War", p. 146 and "passim".] He attended Georgetown University before entering St. Paul’s College, the Paulist Fathersseminary, where he received his B.A. and M.A. degrees.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1969. Carroll served as Catholic chaplain at Boston University from 1969 to 1974. During that time, he studied poetry with George Starbuck and published books on religious subjects and a book of poems. He was also a columnist for the National Catholic Reporter (1972-1975) and was named Best Columnist by the Catholic Press Association. For his writing on religion and politics he received the first Thomas Merton Award from Pittsburgh’s Thomas Merton Center in 1972. Carroll left the priesthood to become a writer, and in 1974 was a playwright-in-residence at the Berkshire Theater Festival.

Literary career

Carroll’s plays have been produced at the Berkshire Theater Festival and at Boston’s Next Move Theater. In 1976 he published his first novel, "Madonna Red", which was followed by several others. He has written for numerous publications, including The New Yorker, and his op-ed column appears weekly in the Boston Globe. He won the 1996 National Book Award for nonfiction for "An American Requiem", a memoir of his relationships with his father, the American military, and the Catholic Church.

He is the author of other books on religion and politics, including "Constantine’s Sword" and "House of War". Mr. Carroll's other works include the novels "Secret Father", "The City Below", "Memorial Bridge", "Prince of Peace", "Mortal Friends", and "Madonna Red", in addition to various plays and "Forbidden Disappointments", a book of poetry published in 1974. Carroll's work has received the Melcher Book Award, the James Parks Morton Interfaith Award, and National Jewish Book Award in History, and has been frequently been named among the Notable Books of the Year by the New York Times.

Carroll has been a Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Fellow at the Center for the Study of Values in Public Life at the Harvard Divinity School. He is a trustee of the Boston Public Library, a member of the Advisory Board of the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life at Brandeis University, and a member of the Dean’s Council at the Harvard Divinity School. Carroll is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, where he chairs the Academy’s Visiting Scholars Center, and is a member of the Academy’s Committee on International Security Studies. He worked on his 2006 history of the Pentagon, "House of War", as a Scholar-in-Residence at the Academy. Carroll is also a Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at Suffolk University.

He is the co-screenwriter, along with filmmaker Oren Jacoby, of a film presentation of the concerns of his 2001 book, "Constantine's Sword (film)."


James Carroll is married to the novelist Alexandra Marshall, and lives in Boston with her and their two surviving children. (One died soon after birth from medical complications.)

List of Published Work

* Feed My Lambs (1967)
* Tender of Wishes: The Prayers of a Young Priest (1969)
* Wonder and Worship (1970)
* Elements of Hope (1971)
* Contemplation (1972)
* Forbidden Disappointments (1974) (poems)
* Madonna Red (1976) (novel)
* Mortal Friends: A Novel (1978)
* Fault Lines (1980) (novel)
* Family Trade (1982) (novel)
* Prince of Peace (1984) (novel)
* Supply of Heroes (1986) (novel)
* Firebird (1989) (novel)
* Memorial Bridge (1991) (novel)
* The City Below (1994) (novel)
* An American Requiem: God, My Father, and the War That Came Between Us (1996)
* (2001)
* Toward a New Catholic Church: The Promise of Reform (2002)
* Secret Father: A Novel (2003)
* Crusade: Chronicles of an Unjust War (2004)
* House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power (2006)


* [http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/catalog/authordetail.cfm?authorID=1380 Houghton Mifflin's Biography]
* [http://www.pshares.org/Authors/authorDetails.cfm?prmAuthorID=1861 Ploughshare's Biography]
* [http://www.pen.org/author.php/prmAID/227/prmID/1480 PEN's Biography]


External links

* [http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/focus/antisemitism/voices/transcript/?content=20080131 Interview with James Carroll] from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
* [http://www.jamescarroll.net/ James Carroll's website]

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