Tom Deignan has written about history and immigration for the Newark Star-Ledger, The New York Times and The Washington Post. He is working on a book about Ellis Island and America.

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'Sopranos' creator David Chase talks about Catholicism, 1967 Newark Rebellion

Movies: In telling the fictional mobster Tony Soprano's coming-of-age story set in the 1960s, "The Many Saints of Newark" highlights the real history of the city's immigrant Catholic and African American communities.

Book Review

20 years later, what can Russo's 'Empire Falls' teach us about Catholic faith?

Book review: God, praised for benevolence, scolded for inscrutability, is a presence in Richard Russo's Empire Falls. "You probably suspect," Russo once told an audience, "I was an altar boy straight through high school."


This Christmas, let's return to 'The Twilight Zone'

Commentary: Every December, we return to certain holiday classics, seeking comfort and joy. But 2020 has been a "Twilight Zone" kind of year, and the episode "The Night of the Meek" is quite resonant.

Book Review

History and tragedy linger in 'Ghosts of the Missing'

Book review: Kathleen Donohoe's novel is a portrait of an extended family and community, beginning with immigrants in the 1850s, and, later, featuring a pair of Catholic priests forced to confront the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.