Wherever Green Is Worn: The Story of the Irish Diaspora

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Overview

In the classic song Galway Bay, Bing Crosby summed up the passionate, bittersweet and sometimes conflict-filled relationship between the Irish spread across the globe and their homeland. Today, the population of Ireland is five million, but seventy million people worldwide can call themselves Irish. Though Tim Pat Coogan never strayed far from his birthplace in County Dublin, he was drawn to the outposts of Ireland that existed beyond his country's shores. "As I grew older and travelled," he wrote, "my ...
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Overview

In the classic song Galway Bay, Bing Crosby summed up the passionate, bittersweet and sometimes conflict-filled relationship between the Irish spread across the globe and their homeland. Today, the population of Ireland is five million, but seventy million people worldwide can call themselves Irish. Though Tim Pat Coogan never strayed far from his birthplace in County Dublin, he was drawn to the outposts of Ireland that existed beyond his country's shores. "As I grew older and travelled," he wrote, "my imagination was seized by the extent of the Irish population in the world outside Ireland and the variety of conditions in which it lived." The call of millions of Irish men and women around the globe proved too strong to resist and Coogan set out to find all the places where green is proudly worn. While most people know that the United States and England were two of the prime destinations for Irish immigrants, most people will never have thought of the Irish communities in Africa, the Caribbean and the majority of European countries. From the Hotel Ibis in Amiens, France, to a pub called The Harp in Sarajevo, Coogan talked to the people who carried Ireland with them when they and their ancestors left their native homeland. Besides the historic achievements of President John F. Kennedy and the literary innovations of writers like James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, the Irish who left their homeland gave the world extraordinary gifts of enterprise, intellect, art, music, faith and sheer hard work. The spread of Irish influence continues even today through popular culture as the cast of Riverdance and the members of U2 take a new Ireland abroad to influence the next generation. Tim Pat Coogan's Wherever Green Is Worn is a rich and complex tale of Irish lives in foreign lands that sums up Ireland's past, present and future.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
More than 70 million Irish are scattered throughout the world, taking part in a complex and emotional relationship with their mother country. Tim Pat Coogan, one of the best-known Irish journalists and historians, takes a far-reaching look around the world. His goal: to see how these transplanted countrymen and -women are faring as they continue to proudly "wear the green."
Manchester Evening News
A fascinating account of how Irish immigrants and their descendants have prospered or perished across the globe.
Dermot Keogh
An intellectually ambitious work, the work of great energy, imagination and painstaking detective work on the Irish Diaspora...Buy it.
Publishers Weekly
Coogan, biographer of Michael Collins and Eamon DeValera, again tackles a boisterous, unruly Irish subject the diaspora. Irish emigration first began, Coogan tells us, in the 12th century, when the Normans invaded Ireland. Cromwell's terrorist campaign in the 17th century drove many Irish to France and Spain, while Cromwell deported many more to the West Indies and Virginia. Emigration took a more sinister turn with the advent of the famine in the 1840s. Coogan estimates that "a million died and probably as many as two-and-a-half million people left Ireland in the decade 1845-1855." He also estimates that another five million emigrated between the end of the famine and 1961. Where did they all go? Everywhere: Europe, U.K., U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia. Coogan breaks down by chapter the geographical travels, and includes some very colorful tales. For example, Mexico still embraces the memory of the wild San Patricios (St. Patrick) Brigade soldiers who deserted the American army during the Mexican War to fight on the side of their fellow Catholics. The first Irish came to Canada looking for cod fish, but many Canadians still remember the invasion of the quixotic Fenians, whose aim was to "liberate" Canada from British rule after the American Civil War. Chile still celebrates its Liberator, one Bernardo O'Higgins, and Australia remembers its Irish Robin Hood, Ned Kelly. The U.S. chapter is filled with stories of Tammany and the Kennedys, and there is an extremely interesting section on Bill Clinton and how he brokered the Good Friday Agreement. Rich in characterization and detail not to mention the Coogan wit this is an invaluablereference volume that belongs on the bookshelf of every Celtophile. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Irish journalist Coogan, who has written several books on Irish history and culture (e.g., The Man Who Made Ireland: The Life and Death of Michael Collins), here details the story of the Irish Diaspora, or emigration, which began with the Irish Potato Famine and the subsequent emigrations of the 1840s. Coogan writes easily, giving an often fascinating survey of the many places the Irish emigrated to, not only the United States but destinations like Argentina that will be less familiar to Americans. He relates the story of Irish emigration to these places, sketches the lives of various Irish figures there, and surveys today's Irish Diaspora descendants. Other titles like Thomas Keneally's The Great Shame (LJ 8/99) cover the Irish Diaspora but to a lesser geographic extent. Coogan does tend to overromanticize, at one point profiling an Irish harpist and singer who happens also to physically striking and a brilliant Gaelic football player. More significant, though, is his failure to address the question why these far-flung emigrants cling so to their Irish Catholic heritage. Nevertheless, this broad-ranging narrative history should be a popular title in many public and academic libraries. Charlie Cowling, SUNY at Brockport Lib. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
“A journey into our own psyche...Tim Pat Coogan has dug, Heaney-like, into the past while opening doors to faraway places.”—Frank McCourt, author of Angela’s Ashes

“Rich in characterization and detail—not to mention the Coogan wit—this is an invaluable reference volume that belongs on the bookshelf of every Celtophile.”—Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312239909
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 9/1/1901
  • Edition description: 1ST PALGRA
  • Pages: 768
  • Product dimensions: 6.58 (w) x 9.62 (h) x 1.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Tim Pat Coogan is one of the best known journalists and historians in Ireland. Author, broadcaster, and former editor of the Irish Press, he has written several books, and two definitive works just published by Palgrave, The Troubles and The IRA.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations vii
Introduction ix
Acknowledgements xix
Chapter 1 Europe 1
Chapter 2 United Kingdom 109
Chapter 3 United States of America 253
Chapter 4 Canada 369
Chapter 5 Australia 430
Chapter 6 New Zealand 487
Chapter 7 Africa 504
Chapter 8 Caribbean 569
Chapter 9 Latin America 602
Chapter 10 Japan, Rice Paddies and an Asian Perspective 644
Epilogue 662
Notes 667
Bibliography 689
Index 705
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2002

    Waste of your time and money

    Tim, truth and historian are three words that shouldn't go together and the man has proved this with his previous works. He deliberately goes after the arm-chair nationalist market. As an Irish historian myself, I find this deeply offensive and only leads to furthering Irish-American misconceptions about the island of Ireland.

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