The Irish in America

The Irish in America

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by Michael Coffey, Terry Golway
     
 

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There is much more to the Irish experience than a good song and dance and a well-told story. As evidenced by the more than 40 million U.S. citizens who currently lay claim to having ancestral roots in the Emerald Isle, the Irish in America have been making significant historical and cultural contributions to this country since the seventeenth century when the first

Overview

There is much more to the Irish experience than a good song and dance and a well-told story. As evidenced by the more than 40 million U.S. citizens who currently lay claim to having ancestral roots in the Emerald Isle, the Irish in America have been making significant historical and cultural contributions to this country since the seventeenth century when the first Irish immigrant ships began arriving on our eastern shores.

To celebrate those accomplishments, and to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the potato famine in Ireland, which led to one of the largest migrations of a people in history, this lavishly produced book brings to life the full and rich saga of the Irish in America.

Filled with hundreds of illustrations and photographs, The Irish in America is enhanced by more than two dozen original essays penned for this project by some of America's foremost Irish-American writers, historians, and personalities. Included among the contributions are works by Frank McCourt, Peggy Noonan, Pete Hamill, Denis Leary, Mary Higgins Clark, Malachy McCourt, Thomas Flanagan, Terry George, Peter Quinn, T. J. English, and Jason Robards. Featuring a Foreword by former congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II and an Afterword by best-selling novelist Maeve Binchy, this vibrant history is told through chapters whose themes are taken from the most important institutions of Irish life: the Great Famine, the Parish, the Precinct, the Work, the Players (show business, sports, literature), and the New Irish.

This lively and inspiring reader is designed to bring out the Irish in everyone!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
It really started with the famine that wasn't. There was plenty of food for export, but the poor depended on potatoes for their daily existence. The potato blight reduced the population as an estimated two million died and two million emigratedmost of them to America. It is a heartbreaking, yet inspiring story that Coffey, managing editor of Publishers Weekly, and Golway, a columnist for the New York Observer, present in this magnificently illustrated book. Golway sets the stage by describing the misery of the famine and the "coffin" ships, and focusing on one Patrick Kennedy of County Wexford, whose great-grandson would become the first Irish Catholic president of the United States in 1960. Singer Larry Kirwan of the band Black 47named for the worst year of the famine, 1847tells how the horror of the famine was imprinted on his soul by his grandfather; bestselling writer Frank McCourt, who almost starved as a child, remembers his astonishment at the amount of wasted food he would see when he emigrated back to the U.S.; and writer Peter Quinn reminds us why the Irish kept close to the cities: "a place safe from the ravages of Prohibition, Fundamentalism, and small-town Republicanism." A former priest, writer James Carroll looks at the importance of the local parish, and Newsday columnist Dennis Duggan takes a peak inside the McManus Democratic Club in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen, which still administers to the new immigrants. Newsman-novelist Pete Hamill explains how Belfast immigrants became Americans, while filmmaker Terry George learns about baseballand Americafrom Hamill's brother, screenwriter John. Actor Jason Robards reminds us how the writings of Eugene O'Neill still haunt us. Coffey and Golway weave stories about rogues, priests, politicians, poets, gangsters, nuns, ballplayers, union organizers, writers and plain old working-stiffs into a beautiful emerald tapestry that celebrates Irish achievement and success, but remembers those who made the crossing for the want of a potato. Major ad/promo. (Oct.) FYI: The Irish in America will also serve as a companion volume to the forthcoming PBS documentary series, airing in January.
KLIATT
Published as a companion book to the PBS series of the same name, this book clearly reflects its video origins. Lavishly illustrated, the text by Terry Golway tells the story of the Irish famine and resulting immigration, the roles of parish, precinct and job opportunities in the life of the Irish community, the success of many Irish Americans in the theatre and, finally, the connections between Ireland and America today. The text and illustrations are interspersed, somewhat haphazardly, with cameo contributions from the likes of Frank McCourt, Peggy Noonan, and Maeve Binchey. Even Roy Disney, whose company owns the book's copyright, returns to Ireland to discover his roots. While far from essential to a collection, this volume adds color to an already colorful topic. KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1997, Hyperion, 272p, 28cm, 97-21907, $19.95. Ages 13 to adult. Reviewer: Patricia A. Moore; Academic Resource Ctr., Emmanuel College, Boston, MA, July 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 4)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786863440
Publisher:
Hyperion
Publication date:
10/01/1997
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
9.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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The Irish in America 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
enjoyable look at the history of the irish people in america. easy reading that makes you grateful of the sacrifices made by parents, grandparents, great-garndparents etc.. though woven around the successes and failures of the famous clans of john f kennedy and eugene o'neill; the book never loses touch with reality and the millions of not so famous irish who helped build america.. the author coffey's chapters are further complimented by articles & short stories written by prominent irish-americans of today such as frank mccourt, denis leary and maeve binchy. wonderful photographs make this a book a prize and well worth the price!