Penn Rhodeen, standing, and Bruce Morrison. Rhodeen will speak at the Jesup on Aug. 31. PHOTO COURTESY OF ARTHUR POLLOCK

Man’s role in peace in Ireland to be illuminated



BAR HARBOR — Penn Rhodeen will talk about the story of a little-known American politician who played a critical role in ending centuries of conflict in Ireland when he visits the Jesup Memorial Library on Thursday, Aug. 31, at 7 p.m.

“Peacerunner: The True Story of How an Ex-Congressman Helped End the Centuries of War in Ireland” is the story Bruce Morrison, a former congressman who, despite having no official position, travelled tirelessly to meet with anyone – including those seen as “terrorists” – who could help end the fighting.

“Peacerunner” gives readers an up-close look at Morrison’s journey, in which he persuaded President Clinton to create a positive political climate in America and makes the connections necessary in Ireland and Britain to help win the IRA ceasefire and enact a solid, lasting peace.

With an introduction by Clinton and cameos from Tony Blair, George Mitchell, Gerry Adams, Jean Kennedy Smith, John Major and others, Rhodeen’s book dramatizes events that have receded into the past without getting their due. “Peacerunner” is the story of how one man changed world history and the modern political landscape. Morrison’s story is one of unlikely optimism in the face of seemingly hopeless conflict. “Peacerunner” has the power to inspire readers from all walks of life and spark new dialogue about how best to lend aid in countries afflicted by unending war.

“This gripping and wonderful story is personal for me,” wrote actor Liam Neeson. “I was born and raised in Northern Ireland, and as I started my professional acting career in Belfast, the violence of The Troubles was raging. Bruce Morrison and the other heroes (unsung to my mind) of this terrific book accomplished the seemingly impossible and ultimately miraculous! The world needs more stories like this and more men like this. This is a must-read.”

Rhodeen became a lawyer after brief stints as a newspaper reporter and schoolteacher. His practice focuses on cases involving children and medical malpractice. He also has been involved in political campaigns for a wide range of candidates, from local to presidential. Much of his writing has related to legal and political issues, including op-ed pieces for The New York Times, “Newsday,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and others.

Books will be on sale that night courtesy of co-sponsor Sherman’s Books. Contact the Jesup at 288-4245 or [email protected].