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Ireland Now

Tales of Change from the Global Island

William Flanagan

Ireland Now is an accessible guide to understanding how Ireland and the Irish people have changed during the past fifteen years. Largely as a result of the country's rapidly expanding economy, Ireland has been transformed from one of the poorest to one of the richest countries in the European Union. William Flanagan uses personal, first-hand stories from a wide range of Irish citizens, including the elderly, farmers, people in small towns and rural areas, and new immigrants, to illustrate how various segments of the population are coping with a shifting social landscape. Flanagan skillfully weaves his stories of real people together to reflect themes of promise and loss attached to economic upheaval, the struggle to maintain traditional ways in the face of new social and moral orders, the effort to adapt to a country with an enhanced place in the world economy, and the challenge of remaining at home as the meaning of home becomes forever changed. Based on years of Flanagan's personal experience and careful research in Ireland, this important book examines the nature of Irish character and the fusion of tradition and change. It will appeal to anyone with an interest in Ireland and Irish identity.

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Ireland's Magdalen Laundries and the Nation's Architecture of Containment

James M. Smith

The Magdalen laundries were workhouses in which many Irish women and girls were effectively imprisoned because they were perceived to be a threat to the moral fiber of society. Mandated by the Irish state beginning in the eighteenth century, they were operated by various orders of the Catholic Church until the last laundry closed in 1996. A few years earlier, in 1993, an order of nuns in Dublin sold part of their Magdalen convent to a real estate developer. The remains of 155 inmates, buried in unmarked graves on the property, were exhumed, cremated, and buried elsewhere in a mass grave. This triggered a public scandal in Ireland and since then the Magdalen laundries have become an important issue in Irish culture, especially with the 2002 release of the film “The Magdalene Sisters.” Focusing on the ten Catholic Magdalen laundries operating between 1922 and 1996, Ireland's Magdalen Laundries and the Nation's Architecture of Containment offers the first history of women entering these institutions in the twentieth century. Because the religious orders have not opened their archival records, Smith argues that Ireland's Magdalen institutions continue to exist in the public mind primarily at the level of story (cultural representation and survivor testimony) rather than history (archival history and documentation). Addressed to academic and general readers alike, James M. Smith challenges the nation—church, state, and society—to acknowledge its complicity in Ireland's Magdalen scandal and to offer redress for victims and survivors alike.

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Ireland's New Worlds

Immigrants, Politics, and Society in the United States and Australia, 1815–1922

Malcolm Campbell

In the century between the Napoleonic Wars and the Irish Civil War, more than seven million Irish men and women left their homeland to begin new lives abroad. While the majority settled in the United States, Irish emigrants dispersed across the globe, many of them finding their way to another “New World,” Australia.
    Ireland’s New Worlds is the first book to compare Irish immigrants in the United States and Australia. In a profound challenge to the national histories that frame most accounts of the Irish diaspora, Malcolm Campbell highlights the ways that economic, social, and cultural conditions shaped distinct experiences for Irish immigrants in each country, and sometimes in different parts of the same country. From differences in the level of hostility that Irish immigrants faced to the contrasting economies of the United States and Australia, Campbell finds that there was much more to the experiences of Irish immigrants than their essential “Irishness.” America’s Irish, for example, were primarily drawn into the population of unskilled laborers congregating in cities, while Australia’s Irish, like their fellow colonialists, were more likely to engage in farming. Campbell shows how local conditions intersected with immigrants’ Irish backgrounds and traditions to create surprisingly varied experiences in Ireland’s new worlds. 
Outstanding Book, selected by the American Association of School Librarians, and Best Books for Special Interests, selected by the Public Library Association

“Well conceived and thoroughly researched . . . . This clearly written, thought-provoking work fulfills the considerable ambitions of comparative migration studies.”—Choice

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Ireland Through European Eyes

Western Europe, the EEC and Ireland, 1945-1973

Edited by Mervyn O’Driscoll, Dermot Keogh, and Jérôme aan de Wiel

This novel collection draws together a European field of expertise and resources. It reveals how Belgian, French, Italian, Luxembourg, Dutch, and West German politicians, policymakers and commentators perceived independent Ireland from the end of the Second World War until Irish accession to the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973. These six West European states initiated and sustained the integration process from the debris of the Second World War. They offered Ireland a developmental and international alternative to small nation state obscurity and vulnerability. Together with the EEC institutions of the Commission and the Council of Ministers principally, these states both transformed European relations and determined the fate of Ireland’s application to enter the EEC after 1961.

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The Irish in the Atlantic World

David T. Gleeson

The Irish in the Atlantic World presents a transnational and comparative view of the Irish historical and cultural experiences as phenomena transcending traditional chronological, topical, and ethnic paradigms. Edited by David T. Gleeson, this collection of essays offers a robust new vision of the global nature of the Irish diaspora within the Atlantic context from the eighteenth century to the present and makes original inroads for new research in Irish studies. These essays from an international cast of scholars vary in their subject matter from investigations into links between Irish popular music and the United States—including the popularity of American blues music in Belfast during the 1960s and the influences of Celtic balladry on contemporary singer Van Morrison—to a discussion of the migration of Protestant Orangemen to America and the transplanting of their distinctive non-Catholic organizations. Other chapters explore the influence of American politics on the formation of the Irish Free State in 1922, manifestations of nineteenth-century temperance and abolition movements in Irish communities, links between slavery and Irish nationalism in the formation of Irish identity in the American South, the impact of yellow fever on Irish and black labor competition on Charleston's waterfront, the fate of the Irish community at Saint Croix in the Danish West Indies, and other topics. These multidisciplinary essays offer fruitful explanations of how ideas and experiences from around the Atlantic influenced the politics, economics, and culture of Ireland, the Irish people, and the societies where Irish people settled. Taken collectively, these pieces map the web of connectivity between Irish communities at home and abroad as sites of ongoing negotiation in the development of a transatlantic Irish identity.

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Irish Nationalists and the Making of the Irish Race

Bruce Nelson

This is a book about Irish nationalism and how Irish nationalists developed their own conception of the Irish race. Bruce Nelson begins with an exploration of the discourse of race--from the nineteenth--century belief that "race is everything" to the more recent argument that there are no races. He focuses on how English observers constructed the "native" and Catholic Irish as uncivilized and savage, and on the racialization of the Irish in the nineteenth century, especially in Britain and the United States, where Irish immigrants were often portrayed in terms that had been applied mainly to enslaved Africans and their descendants.

Most of the book focuses on how the Irish created their own identity--in the context of slavery and abolition, empire, and revolution. Since the Irish were a dispersed people, this process unfolded not only in Ireland, but in the United States, Britain, Australia, South Africa, and other countries. Many nationalists were determined to repudiate anything that could interfere with the goal of building a united movement aimed at achieving full independence for Ireland. But others, including men and women who are at the heart of this study, believed that the Irish struggle must create a more inclusive sense of Irish nationhood and stand for freedom everywhere. Nelson pays close attention to this argument within Irish nationalism, and to the ways it resonated with nationalists worldwide, from India to the Caribbean.

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Irish Peasants

Violence and Political Unrest, 1780–1914

Samuel Clark

"The strength of this volume cannot be conveyed by an itemisation of its contents; for what it provides is an incisive commentary on the newly-recognised landmarks of Irish agrarian history in the modern period. . . . The importance, even indispensability, of this achievement is compounded by exemplary editing."—Roy Foster, London Times Literary Supplement

"As a whole, the volume demonstrates the wealth, complexity, and sophistication of Irish rural studies. The book is essential reading for anyone involved in modern Irish history. It will also serve as an excellent introduction to this rich field for scholars of other peasant communities and all interested in problems of economic and political developments."—American Historical Review

"A milestone in the evolution of Irish social history. There is a remarkable consistency of style and standard in the essays. . . . This is truly history from the grassroots."—Timothy P. O'Neill, Studia Hibernica


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The Irish Play on the New York Stage, 1874-1966

John P. Harrington

Over the years American -- especially New York -- audiences have evolved a consistent set of expectations for the "Irish play." Traditionally the term implied a specific subject matter, invariably rural and Catholic, and embodied a reductive notion of Irish drama and society. This view continues to influence the types of Irish drama produced in the United States today. By examining seven different opening nights in New York theaters over the course of the last century, John Harrington considers the reception of Irish drama on the American stage and explores the complex interplay between drama and audience expectations. All of these productions provoked some form of public disagreement when they were first staged in New York, ranging from the confrontation between Shaw and the Society for the Suppression of Vice to the intellectual outcry provoked by billing Waiting for Godot as "the laugh sensation of two continents." The inaugural volume in the series Irish Literature, History, and Culture, The Irish Play on the New York Stage explores the New York premieres of The Shaughraun (1874), Mrs. Warren's Profession (1905), The Playboy of the Western World (1911), Exiles (1925), Within the Gates (1934), Waiting for Godot (1956), and Philadelphia, Here I Come! (1966).

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Irish Politics and Social Conflict in the Age of the American Revolution

By Maurice R. O'Connell

In the midst of great expansion and economic growth in the eighteenth century, Ireland was deeply divided along racial, religious, and economic lines. More than two thirds of the population were Catholic, but nearly all the landowners were Anglican. The minority also comprised practically the entire body of lawyers, officers in the army and navy, and holders of political positions. At the same time, a growing middle class of merchants and manufacturers sought to reform Parliament to gain a real share in the political power monopolized by the aristocracy and landed gentry.

Irish Politics and Social Conflict in the Age of the American Revolution remains one of the few in-depth studies of the effects of the Revolution on Ireland. Focusing on nine important years of Irish history, 1775 to 1783, from the outbreak of war in colonial America to the year following its conclusion, the book details the social and political conditions of a period crucial to the development of Irish nationalism. Drawing extensively on the Dublin press of the time, Maurice R. O'Connell chronicles such important developments as the economic depression in Britain and the Irish movement for free trade, the Catholic Relief Act of 1778, the rise of the Volunteers, the formation of the Patriot group in the Irish Parliament, and the Revolution of 1782.

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The Irish Question

Two Centuries of Conflict

Lawrence J. McCaffrey

From 1800 to 1922 the Irish Question was the most emotional and divisive issue in British politics. It pitted Westminster politicians, anti-Catholic British public opinion, and Irish Protestant and Presbyterian champions of the Union against the determination of Ireland's large Catholic majority to obtain civil rights, economic justice, and cultural and political independence.

In this completely revised and updated edition of The Irish Question, Lawrence J. McCaffrey extends his classic analysis of Irish nationalism to the present day. He makes clear the tortured history of British-Irish relations and offers insight into the difficulties now facing those who hope to create a permanent peace in Northern Ireland.

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