Making the Irish American: History and Heritage of the Irish in the United States / Edition 1

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Overview

Featuring 29 classic and original essays on the turbulent, vital, and fascinating story of the Irish in America. The contributors include Linda Dowling Almeida, Margaret Lynch-Brennan, Marion R. Casey, David Noel Doyle, Pete Hamill, Kevin Kenny, Rebecca S. Miller, Mick Moloney, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Peter Quinn, and Calvin Trillin.

All it takes is one St. Patrick's Day in the United States to realize that the Irish did not dissolve into the melting pot, they took possession of it. Few other immigrant peoples have exerted such pervasive influence, have left so deep an impression, have made their values and concerns so central to the destiny of their new country.

In Making the Irish American, J.J. Lee and Marion R. Casey offer a feast of twenty-nine perspectives on the turbulent, vital, endlessly fascinating story of the Irish in America. Combining original research with reprints of classic works, these essays and articles extend far beyond a survey to offer a truly rich understanding of the Irish immigrant impact on America, and America’s impact on the Irish immigrant.

Here the reader will find a brisk, compact history of Ireland itself, and a wide-ranging critique of Irish American historiography, as well as explorations of the multiple complications of religion, reflected in the fluctuating, and sometimes tempestuous, relations between Catholic and Protestant Irish and Scotch-Irish. The authors explore the various channels through which the Irish, men and women, have made their mark, from politics to labor organization, from domestic service to popular and traditional music, from sport to step dancing.

Classic reprints include Daniel Patrick Moynihan's study of the Irish in New York, Pete Hamill’s memoir of President Kennedy—recollecting the responses around him in Belfast at the time of the assassination—Calvin Trillin's New Yorker profile of Judge James J. Comerford, long the iron-handed boss of New York's St. Patrick's Day parade, and Peter Quinn's meditations on the essence of Irish America, past, present and future. They all offer sparkling insights into the evolving tension between becoming American and becoming Irish American.

Making the Irish American is monumental in the best sense—serious but accessible, wide-ranging and far-reaching and enriched by seventy unique illustrations. This exciting and challenging collection belongs on the bookshelf of everyone interested in not only the Irish American, but the American story, of which they form so vivid and prominent a part.

Copublished with the Glucksman Ireland House of New York University.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This lavish compendium looks at the Irish and America from a variety of perspectives.”
-USA Today

,

“For anyone with the slightest interest in the history of Irish immigrants in America, Lee and Casey's book is a wonderful foundation on which to build a knowledge base.”
-Northeast Book Reviews

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“From the double-meaning of its title to its roster of impressive contributors, Making the Irish American is destined for the bookshelves of all readers who aim to keep up on Irish-American history.”
-Irish America

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“This extremely thorough, thoughtful volume covers all the Irish bases up to the present.”
-Publishers Weekly

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“Blends original research with reprints of classic analyses making for a thoughtful set of essays and articles which survey Irish-American history in context of the overall immigrant experience.”
-The Midwest Book Review

,

Publishers Weekly
This massive volume, copublished with Glucksman Ireland House at NYU, covers the Americanization of the Irish in 29 chapters. Eileen Reilly takes a comprehensive, albeit sanitized, look at the history of Ireland up to the present, covering everything from famine to the Good Friday accords. One thing that stands out is the remarkable misogynistic burden that Eamon DeValera's policies placed on Irish women (a married woman could not teach, and the government seemed to have a vested interest in her sexual habits, even through the 1980s). As the Irish inundated America during the Great Famine, we see them crawl up the ladder of success with the help of the "Ubiquitous Bridget," the indispensable Irish maids whose work spanned two centuries. Novelist Peter Quinn looks at "Irish progress from Paddies to Pats." The importance of labor unions in the rise of the Irish into the middle class is documented, as well as how, through battle in two world wars, the Irish finally earned their acceptance as nonhyphenated Americans, capped off by John F. Kennedy's election as president in 1960. This extremely thorough, thoughtful volume covers all the Irish bases up to the present. 70 illus. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814752081
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2006
  • Series: Ireland House Ser.
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 733
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

J.J. Lee is Director of Glucksman Ireland House, Glucksman Professor of Irish Studies, and professor of history, at New York University. He is the author of the award-winning Ireland 1912-1985: Politics and Society.

Marion R. Casey is assistant professor, Glucksman Ireland House, New York University, and co-editor of The Irish Experience in New York City.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction : interpreting Irish America 1
2 Modern Ireland : an introductory survey 63
3 Scots Irish or Scotch-Irish 151
4 The Irish in North America, 1776-1845 171
5 The remaking of Irish-America, 1845-1880 213
6 Ulster Presbyterians and the "two traditions" in Ireland and America 255
7 Religious rivalry and the making of Irish-American identity 271
8 Address to the Ulster-Irish Society of New York, 1939 286
9 American-Irish nationalism 289
10 Refractive history : memory and the founders of the emigrant savings bank 302
11 Ubiquitous Bridget : Irish immigrant women in domestic service in America, 1840-1930 332
12 Labor and labor organizations 354
13 Race, violence, and anti-Irish sentiment in the nineteenth century 364
14 Irish-American popular music 381
15 The Irish and vaudeville 406
16 Irish traditional music in the United States 411
17 Before Riverdance : a brief history of Irish step dancing in America 417
18 Irish-American festivals 426
19 Irish Americans in sports : the nineteenth century 443
20 Irish Americans in sports : the twentieth century 457
21 The Irish (1963, 1970) 475
22 Once we were kings (1999) 526
23 Democracy in action (1988) 535
24 Irish America, 1940-2000 548
25 Twentieth-century American Catholicism and Irish Americans 574
26 The fireman on the stairs : communal loyalties in the making of Irish America 609
27 The tradition of Irish-American writers : the twentieth century 649
28 Looking for Jimmy (1999) 663
29 The future of Irish America (2000) 680
App The Irish in the U.S. census : an explanatory note 687
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 22, 2009

    collected essays on all aspects of Irish American heritage and accomplishments

    Of the 29 articles, nine have been previously published one in 1963, another in 1988, and the others in the past seven or so years. Some authors are widely-known--Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Pete Hamill, Calvin Trillin while the others are steeped in Irish traditions from heritage and academic or other professional positions. The collected articles are crossovers between popular interest and academic perspective. Most combine popular subjects and approach with historical documentation or data. Within major sections on Irish-American foundations and identity are articles on sports, music, religion, organizations, and the role of notably, in some cases somewhat stereotypical, Irish figures such as domestics known as 'biddies' or firemen in Irish-American assimilation and as representative of Irish-Americans in general. For the astute editorial selection of the number of general and somewhat specialized articles, expertise of the authors, and documentation in articles and appendices plus notes and bibliographies, 'Making the Irish American' is a major text tying together this field of ethnic studies with American history and social history.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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