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properly poured pints.” Delanty knows that returning is dangerous: the returned exile will “flounder in dark waters one more.” Southward may appear to be a deceptively accessible collection. However, it is a complex work with a variety of thematic and stylistic rewards, riches which become more apparent on subsequent readings. Delanty displays a subtle sense of language and traditional forms, though his use of rhyme is not always successful. Sometimes the cleverness of his rhymes draws more attention to itself than to the idea or emotion that rhyme is supposed to carry. This is a minor complaint about an engaging and beautifully written collection of poems. Delanty is one of a talented groups of poets to have emerged from Cork in recent years—Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Thomas McCarthy, and Theo Dorgan also spring to mind—whose work is now available in the United States. —Eamonn Wall Dissent from Irish America, by John P. McCarthy, pp. 280, Boston: University Press of America, 1993, $44.50. This book is a compilation of the author’s political commentaries which appeared primarily in The Boston Irish News. The primary focus of the volume is on Irish America and the Ulster conflict. McCarthy strongly attacks what he sees as the simplistic views of those who support the IRA and states that his mission is to, “broaden the perspective of Irish Americans on Irish questions and thereby inhibit support for the forces of violent irredentism” (ix). Given this agenda, the author attempts to show the complexity of the Northern Ireland problem and maintains that the “Troubles” would be greatly exacerbated by an immediate British withdrawal. He devotes a series of essays to explain the intensity of Unionist feeling and contends that progress can be achieved only through political dialogue and the establishment of structures which have intercommunal support. McCarthy suggests that the best way Irish Americans can contribute to this process is to support constitutional nationalism through the Friends of Ireland group in Congress and the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs in Washington. He also lavishes great praise on the Social Democratic Labor Party and John Hume, whom he describes as “brilliant,” extremely broad minded,” and as “the Lech Walesa of Northern Ireland” (18). A number of McCarthy’s commentaries offer insightful and challenging perspectives on the historical development and complex nature of Irish America. There is a particularly interesting critique of the contradictions between conservative Irish Americans and their support for revolutionary nationalism in Ireland. Yet McCarthy’s vehement antirepublicanism tends to detract from a broader and more balanced analysis of the issues. He has a tendency to view any Irish-American initiative on Ulster not endorsed by the Friends of Ireland or Irish government as a thinly disguised attempt to assist the IRA. For example, the MacBride Principles campaign for fair employment is described as a form of “economic warfare” BOOK REVIEWS 186 ultimately designed to destroy the Anglo-Irish Agreement and, “keep the pot of Northern Ireland discord boiling” (121). While some groups and individuals do view their involvement in terms of these objectives, McCarthy fails to appreciate that many are motivated by a genuine desire to redress persistent employment discrimination in Northern Ireland. The author similarly gives inadequate consideration to concern over allegations of British human rights abuses, particularly the evidence of a shoot-to-kill policy, as a factor generating Irish-American activism. McCarthy’s newspaper columns were written over a period of ten years, so his views on a variety of issues are repeated several times throughout the book. This can be quite tedious for the reader and could have been avoided by a more selective choice of essays. There is neither documentation nor reference to source materials . Consequently, while Dissent from Irish America is useful for its presentation of “dissenting” viewpoints from “organized Irish America,” it will be of prime interest to the general reader rather the scholarly historian. — Andrew J. Wilson Kerry Playwright: Sense of Place in the Plays of John B. Keane, by Sister Mary Hubert Kealy, pp. 137, Selinsgrove, PA: Susquehanna University Press, 1993, $29.50. In early 1993, audiences at the Huston International Film Festival raved over the film adaptation of John B. Keane’s...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1550-5162
Print ISSN
0013-2683
Pages
pp. 186-187
Launched on MUSE
2017-08-31
Open Access
No
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