Rambles through Rhode Island and Beyond
Patrick T. Conley
This well-illustrated book, the author’s 29th and his third anthology, consists of 38 diverse essays. Although most of these are Rhode Island-oriented, in Part 5 of this volume Conley expands his field of vision to include chapters on ethnicity, nature, abortion, banking, and the philosophy of history.
Part 4, the most original section, includes several personal recollections and reflections by Conley regarding some of his many endeavors — sports, education, books, business, law, and politics — plus forays into his spiritual life and the realm of poetry. These essays are autobiographical in nature.
Conley’s favorite historical essay, “John E. Fogarty — Rhode Island’s Greatest Congressman,” leads off the volume and should inspire a full-length biography of Fogarty. The author’s most controversial personal reminiscence, “Buddy Cianci and Me,” reveals little known aspects of the rogue-mayor’s personality as well as Cianci’s interaction with Conley.
Those readers interested in finding a consistent theme will search in vain; those content with a vivid and variegated excursion through Conley’s vanishing world will not be disappointed.