In 1847, in the third year of Ireland's Great Famine and the thirteenth year of their rent strike against the Crown, hundreds of tenant farmers in Ballykilcline, County Roscommon, were evicted by the Queen's agents and shipped to New York. Mary Lee Dunn tells their story in this meticulously researched book. Using numerous Irish and U.S. sources and with descendants' help, she traces dozens of the evictees to Rutland, Vermont, as railroads and marble quarries transformed the local economy. She follows the immigrants up to 1870 and learns not only what happened to them but also what light American experience and records cast on their Irish “rebellion.” Dunn begins with Ireland's pre-Famine social and political landscape as context for the Ballykilcline strike. The tenants had rented earlier from the Mahons of Strokestown, whose former property now houses Ireland's Famine Museum. In 1847, landlord Denis Mahon evicted and sent nearly a thousand tenants to Quebec, where half died before or just after reaching the Grosse Ile quarantine station. Mahon was gunned down months later. His murder provoked an international controversy involving the Vatican. An early suspect in the case was a man from Ballykilcline. In the United States, many of the immigrants resettled in clusters in several locations, including Vermont, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, and New York. In Vermont they found jobs in the marble quarries, but some of them lost their homes again in quarry labor actions after 1859. Others prospered in their new lives. A number of Ballykilcline families who stopped in Rutland later moved west; one had a son kidnapped by Indians in Minnesota. Readers who have Irish Famine roots will gain a sense of their own “back story” from this account of Ireland and the native Irish, and scholars in the field of immigration studies will find it particularly useful.
In this pioneering study, David Emmons tells the story of Butte's large and assertive population of Irish immigrants. He traces their backgrounds in Ireland, the building of an ethnic community in Butte, the nature and hazards of their work in the copper mines, and the complex interplay between Irish nationalism and worker consciousness.
From a treasure trove of "Irish stuff," the reports, minutes, and correspondence of the major Irish-American organizations in Butte, Emmons shows how the stalwart supporters of the RELA and the Ancient Order of Hiberians marched and drilled for Irish freedom---and how, as they ran the town, the miners' union, and the largest mining companies, they used this tradition of ethnic cooperation to ensure safe and steady work, Irish mines taking care of Irish miners. Butte was new, overwhelmingly Irish, and extraordinarily dangerous---the ideal place to test the seam between class and ethnicity.
This remarkable memoir of immigration and assimilation provides a rare view of urban life in Chicago in the late 1800s by a newcomer to the city and the Midwest, and the nation as well. Francis O’Neill left Ireland in 1865. After five years traveling the world as a sailor, he and his family settled in Chicago just shortly before the Great Fire of 1871.
As O’Neill looked back on his life, writing in Chicago at the age of 83, he could give first-hand accounts of Pullman strike of 1894, the railway strike of 1903, and the packinghouse strike of 1904. He could also reflect on the corruption that kept him, in spite of his innovations, extremely high exam scores, and performance, subject to powerful aldermen who prevented his advance as a member of the Chicago Police Department. Despite these obstacles, O’Neill eventually rose to be chief of police--a position from which he could enact much-needed civil service reform. In addition to his professional success, O’Neill is also remembered and beloved for his hobby, preserving traditional Irish music.
O’Neill’s story offers perspective on the inner workings of the police department at the turn of the twentieth century. His memoir also brings to life the challenges involved in succeeding in a new land, providing for his family, and integrating into a new culture. Francis O’Neill serves as a fine documentarian of the Irish immigrant experience in Chicago.
Teachers’ unions are the organizations responsible for safeguarding the conditions of teachers’ employment. Union supporters claim strong synergies between teachers’ interests and students’ interests, but critics of unions insist that the stance of teachers in collective bargaining may disadvantage students as unions reduce the power of administrators to manage, remove, reward or retain excellent teachers.
In A Collective Pursuit, Lesley Laveryunpacks how teachers’ unions today are fighting for contracts that allow them to earn a decent living and build “schools all students deserve.” She explains the form and function of the nation’s largest teachers’ unions. Lavery then explores unionization campaigns in the Twin Cities charter schools. A Collective Pursuit also examines teacher strikes and contract negotiations, school finance and finance reform, and district and union attempts to address racial achievement gaps, to provide a context for understanding the economic, political, and demographic forces that inspire teachers to improve conditions for students.
A Collective Pursuit emphasizes that while teachers’ unions serve a traditional, economic role, they also provide a vast array of valuable services to students, educators, parents, and community members.
On December 8, 1941, as the Pacific War reached the Philippines, Yay Panlilio, a Filipina-Irish American, faced a question with no easy answer: How could she contribute to the war?
In this 1950 memoir, The Crucible: An Autobiography by Colonel Yay, Filipina American Guerrilla, Panlilio narrates her experience as a journalist, triple agent, leader in the Philippine resistance against the Japanese, and lover of the guerrilla general Marcos V. Augustin. From the war-torn streets of Japanese-occupied Manila, to battlegrounds in the countryside, and the rural farmlands of central California, Panlilio blends wry commentary, rigorous journalistic detail, and popular romance.
Weaving together appearances by Douglas MacArthur and Carlos Romulo with dangerous espionage networks, this work provides an insightful perspective on the war. The Crucible invites readers to see new intersections in Filipina/o, Asian American, and American literature studies, and Denise Cruz's introduction imparts key biographical, historical, and cultural contexts to that purpose.
Finding herself struggling with depression ("like a rude houseguest, coming and going of its own accord"), Sharon O'Brien set out to understand its origins beyond the biochemical explanations and emotional narratives prevailing in contemporary American culture. Her quest for her inheritance took her straight into the pressures and possibilities of American culture, and then to the heart of her family—the generations who shaped and were shaped by one another and their moment in history. In The Family Silver, as O'Brien travels into her family's past, she goes beyond depression to discover courage, poetry, and grace.
A compassionate and engaging writer, O'Brien uses the biographer's methods to understand her family history, weaving the scattered pieces of the past—her mother's memo books, her father's reading journal, family photographs, tombstones, dance cards, hospital records, the family silver—into a compelling narrative. In the lives of her Irish-American relatives she finds that the American values of upward mobility, progress, and the pressure to achieve sparked both desire and depression, following her family through generations, across the sea, from the Irish famine of the 1840s to Harvard Yard in the late 1960s.
"Many people who write stories of depression or other chronic illnesses tell tales of recovery in the upward-mobility sense, the 'once I was ill, but now I am well' formula that we may find appealing, but doesn't match the messiness of our lives," she writes. "Mine is not such a tale. But it is a recovery tale in another sense—a story of salvage, of rescuing stories from silence." Told with humor and honesty, O'Brien's story will captivate all readers who want to know how they, and their families, have been shaped by the past.
Aspirations of social mobility and anti-Catholic discrimination were the lifeblood of subversive opposition to British rule in Ireland during the mid-nineteenth century. Refugees of the Great Famine who congregated in ethnic enclaves in North America and the United Kingdom supported the militant Fenian Brotherhood and its Dublin-based counterpart, the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), in hopes of one day returning to an independent homeland. Despite lackluster leadership, the movement was briefly a credible security threat which impacted the history of nations on both sides of the Atlantic.
Inspired by the failed Young Ireland insurrection of 1848 and other nationalist movements on the European continent, the Fenian Brotherhood and the IRB (collectively known as the Fenians) surmised that insurrection was the only path to Irish freedom. By 1865, the Fenians had filled their ranks with battle-tested Irish expatriate veterans of the
Union and Confederate armies who were anxious to liberate Ireland. Lofty Fenian ambitions were ultimately compromised by several factors including United States government opposition and the resolution of volunteer Canadian militias who repelled multiple Fenian incursions into New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba. The Fenian legacy is thus multi-faceted. It was a mildly-threatening source of nationalist pride for discouraged Irish expatriates until the organization fulfilled its pledge to violently attack British soldiers and subjects. It also encouraged the confederation of Canadian provinces under the 1867 Dominion Act.
In this book, Patrick Steward and Bryan McGovern present the first holistic, multi-national study of the Fenian movement. While utilizing a vast array of previously untapped primary sources, the authors uncover the socio-economic roots of Irish nationalist behavior at the height of the Victorian Period. Concurrently, they trace the progression of Fenian ideals in the grassroots of Young Ireland to its de facto collapse in 1870s. In doing so, the authors change the perception of the Fenians from fanatics who aimlessly attempted to free their homeland to idealists who believed in their cause and fought with a physical and rhetorical force that was not nonsensical and hopeless as some previous accounts have suggested.
PATRICK STEWARD works in the Mayo Clinic Development Office in Rochester, Minnesota. He obtained a Ph.D. in Irish History at University of Missouri under the direction of Kerby Miller. Patrick additionally holds two degrees from Tufts University and he was a strategic intelligence analyst at the Drug Enforcement Administration in Washington, D.C. early in his professional career.
BRYAN MCGOVERN is an associate professor of history at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia. He is author of the widely praised 2009 book John Mitchel, Irish Nationalist, Southern Secessionist and has written various articles, chapters, and book reviews on Irish and Irish-American nationalism.
Between 1845 and 1855, nearly 1.5 million Irish women, men, and children sailed to America to escape the Great Famine, triggered by successive years of potato blight. The famine and resulting emigration had a profound impact not only on the history of Ireland, but on that of England and North America as well. This volume of original essays commemorates the 150th anniversary of these epochal events and sheds new light on both the consequences of the famine and experience of the Irish in America.
During the early 1880s a continual interaction of events, ideas, and people in Ireland and the United States created a "Greater Ireland" spanning the Atlantic that profoundly impacted both Irish and American society. In A Greater Ireland: The Land League and Transatlantic Nationalism in Gilded Age America, Ely M. Janis closely examines the Irish National Land League, a transatlantic organization with strong support in Ireland and the United States. Founded in Ireland in 1879 against the backdrop of crop failure and agrarian unrest, the Land League pressured the British government to reform the Irish landholding system and allow Irish political self-rule. The League quickly spread to the United States, with hundreds of thousands of Irish Americans participating in branches in their local communities.
As this "Greater Ireland" flourished, new opportunities arose for women and working-class men to contribute within Irish-American society. Exploring the complex interplay of ethnicity, class, and gender, Janis demonstrates the broad range of ideological, social, and political opinion held by Irish Americans in the 1880s. Participation in the Land League deeply influenced a generation that replaced their old county and class allegiances with a common cause, shaping the future of Irish-American nationalism.
Hapa Girl: A Memoir
May-lee Chai Temple University Press, 2008 Library of Congress F660.A1C38 2007 | Dewey Decimal 978.3004951
In the mid-1960s, Winberg Chai, a young academic and the son of Chinese immigrants, married an Irish-American artist. In Hapa Girl ("hapa" is Hawaiian for "mixed") their daughter tells the story of this loving family as they moved from Southern California to New York to a South Dakota farm by the 1980s. In their new Midwestern home, the family finds itself the object of unwelcome attention, which swiftly escalates to violence. The Chais are suddenly socially isolated and barely able to cope with the tension that arises from daily incidents of racial animosity, including random acts of cruelty.
May-lee Chai's memoir ends in China, where she arrives just in time to witness a riot and demonstrations. Here she realizes that the rural Americans' "fears of change, of economic uncertainty, of racial anxiety, of the unknowable future compared to the known past were the same as China's. And I realized finally that it had not been my fault."
Thousands of newcomers flocked into the Upper Mississippi country in the decades leading up to the Civil War. Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, and Minnesota received immigrants from most areas of Europe, as well as Americans from the Upper South, New England, and the Middle Atlantic states. They all carried with them religious beliefs, experiences, and expectations that differed widely, attitudes and opinions which often threw them into conflict with each other. Drawing extensively on family letters sent home to Europe, missionary reports, employment records, and other diverse materials from 1830 to 1860, Wyman shows the interplay between the major groups traveling the roads and waterways of the Upper Mississippi Valley during those crucial decades. The result is a lively, richly illustrated account that will help Americans everywhere better understand their diverse heritage and the environment in which their family trees took root. A new preface to this paperback edition helps to bring the scholarship up to date.
Janet Lewis Michigan State University Press, 2000 Library of Congress PS3523.E866I58 2000 | Dewey Decimal 813.52
The Invasion, a novel originally published in 1932, marked the debut of historical novelist Janet Lewis, who went on to write numerous poems and short stories as well as the novels The Wife of Martin Guerre and The Trial of Soren Quist. Lewis grew up in the Lake country of the Old Northwest and The Invasion is based on family stories she heard as a child.The Invasion displays well-researched historical accuracy, an innate understanding of and feeling for Native American culture enhanced by the author's fluency in the Ojibway language, and an economy of style that is remarkable for a first novel.
In 1790, John Johnston, a cultivated young Irishman, came to the far corner of the Northwest Territory to make his fortune intending to spend only a year. Instead he married Ozhah-guscoday- wayquay (The Woman of the Glade), daughter of the Ojibway chief Waub- ojeeg, and settled on the St. Mary's River. Together they founded a family that was loved, respected, and famous throughout the region for honesty, fairness, and hospitality. Their home was the center of culture for the area and for every visiting traveler, Native American or white. The Invasion chronicles a time when one culture violently supplanted another even as it depicts a family that blends two cultures together.
Henry Rowe Schoolcraft considered the Johnston family his most valued connection to the Native American population. He eventually married Jane Johnston, daughter of John and The Woman of the Glade, and remain close to her entire family. In his diary, Schoolcraft wrote of the Johnstons, "I have in fact stumbled, as it were, on the only family in Northwest America who could in Indian lore have acted as my guide, philosopher, and friend."
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
The Irish in Illinois
Mathieu W. Billings and Sean Farrell Southern Illinois University Press, 2021 Library of Congress F550.I6 | Dewey Decimal 977.30049162
The first statewide history of the Irish in the Prairie State
Today over a million people in Illinois claim Irish ancestry and celebrate their love for Ireland. In this concise narrative history, authors Mathieu W. Billings and Sean Farrell bring together both familiar and unheralded stories of the Irish in Illinois, highlighting the critical roles these immigrants and their descendants played in the settlement and the making of the Prairie State. Short biographies and twenty-eight photographs vividly illustrate the significance and diversity of Irish contributions to Illinois.
Billings and Farrell remind us of the countless ways Irish men and women have shaped the history and culture of the state. They fought in the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, the Civil War, and two world wars; built the state’s infrastructure and worked in its factories; taught Illinois children and served the poor. Irish political leaders helped to draw up the state’s first constitution, served in city, county, and state offices, and created a machine that dominated twentieth-century politics in Chicago and the state.
This lively history adds to our understanding of the history of the Irish in the state over the past two hundred fifty years. Illinoisans and Midwesterners celebrating their connections to Ireland will treasure this rich and important account of the state’s history.
Irish in Michigan
Seamus P. Metress Michigan State University Press, 2006 Library of Congress F575.I6M47 2006 | Dewey Decimal 977.40049162
Irish immigration to the United States can be divided into five general periods, from 1640 to the present: the colonial, prestarvation, great starvation, post-starvation, and post- independence periods. Immigration to the Great Lakes region and, more specifically, to Michigan was differentially influenced during each of these times. The oppressive historical roots of the Irish in both Ireland and nineteenth century America are important to understand in gaining an appreciation for their concern with socioeconomic status.
The Irish first entered the Great Lakes by way of the Ohio River and Appalachian passes, spreading north along the expanding frontier. After the War of 1812, the Irish were heavily represented in frontier military garrisons. Many Irish moved into the Detroit metropolitan area as well as to farming areas throughout Michigan. In the 1840s, a number of Irish began fishing in the waters off Beaver Island, Mackinac Island, Bay City, Saginaw, and Alpena. From 1853 to 1854, Irish emigrants from the Great Starvation dug the Ste. Marie Canal while others dug canals in Grand Rapids and Saginaw.
Irish nationalism in both Michigan and the United States has been closely linked with the labor movement in which Irish Americans were among the earliest organizers and leaders. Irish American nationalism forced the Irish regardless of their local Irish origins to assume a larger Irish identity. Irish Americans have a long history of involvement in the struggle for Irish Freedom dating from the 1840s.
As Patrick Ford, editor of Irish World has said, America led the Irish from the "littleness of countyism into a broad feeling of nationalism."
Over the past decade or so, Irishness has emerged as an idealized ethnicity, one with which large numbers of people around the world, and particularly in the United States, choose to identify. Seeking to explain the widespread appeal of all things Irish, the contributors to this collection show that for Americans, Irishness is rapidly becoming the white ethnicity of choice, a means of claiming an ethnic identity while maintaining the benefits of whiteness. At the same time, the essayists challenge essentialized representations of Irishness, bringing attention to the complexities of Irish history and culture that are glossed over in Irish-themed weddings and shamrock tattoos.
Examining how Irishness is performed and commodified in the contemporary transnational environment, the contributors explore topics including Van Morrison’s music, Frank McCourt’s writing, the explosion of Irish-themed merchandising, the practices of heritage seekers, the movie The Crying Game, and the significance of red hair. Whether considering the implications of Garth Brooks’s claim of Irishness and his enormous popularity in Ireland, representations of Irish masculinity in the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, or Americans’ recourse to a consoling Irishness amid the racial and nationalist tensions triggered by the events of September 11, the contributors delve into complex questions of ethnicity, consumerism, and globalization. Ultimately, they call for an increased awareness of the exclusionary effects of claims of Irishness and for the cultivation of flexible, inclusive ways of affiliating with Ireland and the Irish.
Contributors. Natasha Casey, Maeve Connolly, Catherine M. Eagan, Sean Griffin, Michael Malouf, Mary McGlynn, Gerardine Meaney, Diane Negra, Lauren Onkey, Maria Pramaggiore, Stephanie Rains, Amanda Third
Irish in Wisconsin
David G. Holmes Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2004 Library of Congress F590.I6H65 2004 | Dewey Decimal 977.50049162073
We know theirs to have been the hands that helped build the nation’s canals and railroads, the transport for so many immigrant groups making their way to the newly formed state of Wisconsin in the mid–nineteenth century. Yet the stories of Irish people in Wisconsin and their role in our state’s history became almost invisible as time passed. Irish in Wisconsin recounts the nature of the Irish immigrant experience in Wisconsin both in relation to other ethnic groups and to the larger story of Irish immigration into this country. David Holmes shows the impact of the Irish on the state’s early development and politics. He explores the Irish cultural contribution to the state and the current resurgence in Irish pride and identity. Irish in Wisconsin tells this story with solid historical analysis, first-hand accounts, and rare photographs.
During the first quarter of the twentieth century, the intersection of support for Irish freedom and the principles of Catholic social justice transformed Irish ethnicity in Boston. Prior to World War I, Boston’s middle-class Irish nationalist leaders sought a rapprochement with local Yankees. However, the combined impact of the Easter 1916 Rising and the postwar campaign to free Ireland from British rule drove a wedge between leaders of the city’s two main groups. Irish-American nationalists, emboldened by the visits of Irish leader Eamon de Valera, rejected both Yankees’ support of a postwar Anglo-American alliance and the latter groups’ portrayal of Irish nationalism as a form of Bolshevism. Instead, ably assisted by Catholic Church leaders such as Cardinal William O’Connell, Boston’s Irish nationalists portrayed an independent Ireland as the greatest bulwark against the spread of socialism. As the movement’s popularity spread locally, it attracted the support not only of Irish immigrants, but also that of native-born Americans of Irish descent, including businessman, left-leaning progressives, and veterans of the women’s suffrage movement.
For a brief period after World War I, Irish-American nationalism in Boston became a vehicle for the promotion of wider democratic reform. Though the movement was unable to survive the disagreements surrounding the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, it had been a source of ethnic unity that enabled Boston’s Irish community to negotiate the challenges of the postwar years including the anti-socialist Red Scare and the divisions caused by the Boston Police Strike in the fall of 1919. Furthermore, Boston’s Irish nationalists drew heavily on Catholic Church teachings such that Irish ethnicity came to be more clearly identified with the advocacy of both cultural pluralism and the rights of immigrant and working families in Boston and America.
A little over a century ago, the Irish in America were the targets of intense xenophobic anxiety. Much of that anxiety centered on their mobility, whether that was traveling across the ocean to the U.S., searching for employment in urban centers, mixing with other ethnic groups, or forming communities of their own. Granshaw argues that American variety theatre, a precursor to vaudeville, was a crucial battleground for these anxieties, as it appealed to both the fears and the fantasies that accompanied the rapid economic and social changes of the Gilded Age.
Irish Presbyterians and the Shaping of Western Pennsylvania, 1770–1830 is a historical study examining the religious culture of Irish immigrants in the early years of America. Despite fractious relations among competing sects, many immigrants shared a vision of a renewed Ireland in which their versions of Presbyterianism could flourish free from the domination of landlords and established church. In the process, they created the institutional foundations for western Pennsylvanian Presbyterian churches.
Rural Presbyterian Irish church elders emphasized community and ethnoreligious group solidarity in supervising congregants’ morality. Improved transportation and the greater reach of the market eliminated near-subsistence local economies and hastened the demise of religious traditions brought from Ireland. Gilmore contends that ritual and daily religious practice, as understood and carried out by migrant generations, were abandoned or altered by American-born generations in the context of major economic change.
Literary anthologies feature many of Ireland’s most well-known authors, Oscar Wilde, W. B. Yeats, J. M. Synge, George Bernard Shaw, Seán O’Casey, James Joyce, and Brendan Behan among them. While a number of notable scholars have contended that middle-class Irish Americans rejected or ignored this rebellious group of poets, playwrights, and novelists in favor of a conservative Catholic subculture brought over with the mass migration of the mid-nineteenth century, Stephen G. Butler demonstrates that the transatlantic relationship between these figures and a segment of Irish American journalists and citizens is more complicated—and sometimes more collaborative—than previously acknowledged.
Irish Writers in the Irish American Press spans the period from Oscar Wilde’s 1882 American lecture tour to the months following JFK’s assassination and covers the century in which Irish American identity was shaped by immigration, religion, politics, and economic advancement. Through a close engagement with Irish American periodicals, Butler offers a more nuanced understanding of the connections between Irish literary studies and Irish American culture during this period.
James Silas Rogers Catholic University of America Press, 2016 Library of Congress E184.I6???R+ | Dewey Decimal 810.935299162
Irish-American Autobiography opens a new window on the shifting meanings of Irishness over the twentieth century, by looking at a range of works that have never before been considered as a distinct body of literature. Opening with celebrity memoirs from athletes like boxer John L. Sullivan and ballplayer Connie Mack - written when the Irish were eager to put their raffish origins behind them - later chapters trace the many tensions, often unspoken, registered by Irish Americans who've told their life stories. New York saloonkeepers and South Boston step dancers set themselves against the larger culture, setting a pattern of being on the outside looking in. Even the classic 1950s TV comedy The Honeymooners speaks to the urban Irish origins, and the poignant sense of exclusion felt by its creator Jackie Gleason. Catholicism, so key to the identity of earlier generations of Irish Americans, has also evolved. One chapter looks at the painful diffidence of priest autobiographers, and others reveal how traditional Irish Catholic ideas of the guardian angel and pilgrimage have evolved and stayed potent down to our own time. Irish-American Autobiography becomes, in the end, a story of a continued search for connection - documenting an "ethnic fade" that never quite happened.
The O’Shaughnessy brothers’ story takes place between 1860 and 1950 in Illinois, Missouri, New York, and Ireland. They were the children of an impoverished immigrant who fled the famine in Ireland and his Irish-American wife.An Irish-American Odysseyis the tale of this first-generation immigrant family’s struggle to assimilate into American society, highlighting their perseverance and determination to seize opportunities and surmount obstacles, all the while establishing a legacy for their own descendants in American art, advertising, journalism, and public service.
TIME magazine called James O’Shaughnessy “the best in the business” of advertising, and he became the first chief executive of the American Association of Advertising Agencies. Earlier, he was a “star” reporter at the Chicago Tribune, and James and Francis were centrally involved in founding and maintaining the Irish Fellowship Club. Francis was also the first graduate of the University of Notre Dame to be invited to deliver its annual commencement address, while Martin was the first captain of Notre Dame’s official basketball team. An attorney, John represented the alleged victim in a notorious “white slavery” case. Thomas (“Gus”) became the leading Gaelic Revival artist in America as well as a promoter of Italian-American heritage, campaigning successfully to have Columbus Day enacted a public holiday.
The remarkable rise of the O’Shaughnessy brothers proves the American dream is attainable.
The Last Hurrah: A Novel
Edwin O'Connor University of Chicago Press, 2016 Library of Congress PS3565.C55L37 2016 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
“We’re living in a sensitive age, Cuke, and I’m not altogether sure you’re fully attuned to it.” So says Irish-American politician Frank Skeffington—a cynical, corrupt 1950s mayor, and also an old-school gentleman who looks after the constituents of his New England city and enjoys their unwavering loyalty in return. But in our age of dynasties, mercurial social sensitivities, and politicians making love to the camera, Skeffington might as well be talking to us.
Not quite a roman á clef of notorious Boston mayor James Michael Curley, The Last Hurrah tells the story of Skeffington’s final campaign as witnessed through the eyes of his nephew, who learns a great deal about politics as he follows his uncle to fundraisers, wakes, and into smoke-filled rooms, ultimately coming—almost against his will—to admire the man. Adapted into a 1958 film starring Spencer Tracy and directed by John Ford (and which Curley tried to keep from being made), Edwin O’Connor’s opus reveals politics as it really is, and big cities as they really were. An expansive, humorous novel offering deep insight into the Irish-American experience and the ever-changing nature of the political machine, The Last Hurrah reveals political truths still true today: what the cameras capture is just the smiling face of the sometimes sordid business of giving the people what they want.
As the title indicates, this memoir is an act of map making, of plotting out overlapping territories—topographical, temporal, and psychological. Centered on family life in a Massachusetts town from the 1920s to the 1960s, the author’s investigation extends outward to include the Boston area from colonial times to the recent past, encounters with Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and with Harvard College, the American Civil War, and Ireland and Germany in the nineteenth century.Charles Fanning re-creates the landscape of childhood and adolescence in a place and time both ordinary and rich with possibility. An expert on Irish immigration, he was born and raised in Norwood, Massachusetts, twelve miles outside of Boston, where Yankee and Irish cultures bumped against each other. The narrative traces his personal growth, shaped by family, school, baseball, radio drama, and art. He was the first in his family to attend college, and the book ends with his undergraduate experience at Harvard, class of 1964.Along with this coming-of-age story, Mapping Norwood features forays back in time, including chapters on each of Fanning’s parents and historical excavations and meditations on three ancestors. Guided by his own experience as a scholar, the pressure of these chapters is epistemological—the thrill of the hunt toward knowing. Fanning’s great-grandfather, John Fanning, disappeared from the family in the late 1880s, and a chapter chronicles the discovery of “Walking John’s” fifty years of hidden later life in East St. Louis, Illinois, where he died alone in 1946. Fanning’s great-great-grandfather, Winslow Radcliffe, was a veteran of the 35th Massachusetts Infantry in the Civil War, and the author traces this regiment through the horrors of Antietam and Fredericksburg, by means of diaries and letters by four men from Winslow’s company. The evidence gleaned helps explain Winslow’s suicide after the war. An Irish immigrant ancestor, Phillip Fanning, came to Boston from County Monaghan just after the Great Famine of the late 1840s. Relying on historical research, Fanning imagines vividly the lives led by Phillip’s family and thousands like them in the wake of Ireland’s nineteenth-century catastrophe.
Welcome to Mr. Dooley's place, a neighborhood saloon in the working-class community of Bridgeport, located on Chicago's near southwest side. Here matters of the gravest import are perused with homespun philosophy and good cheer. Covering the waterfront from Mack's (President McKinley's) foreign policies and political appointments to the Alaskan gold rush and juvenile delinquency, Martin T. Dooley holds forth from behind the bar, benevolently dispensing equal portions of wisdom and comical misunderstanding.
As Charlie McCarthy is to Edgar Bergen, so is Martin T. Dooley to newspaper humorist Finley Peter Dunne. Mr. Dooley in Peace and in War, originally published in 1898, collects brief, humorous pieces Dunne wrote for the Chicago Evening Post and the Chicago Journal. In an Irish-American dialect as thick as the foam on a pint of stout, Mr. Dooley and his friends discuss the military "sthrateejy" for American action in Cuba, "iliction" day shenanigans, Queen Victoria's jubilee, the "new woman," and the strange American sport of football, in which a player puts "a pair iv matthresses on his legs, a pillow behind, [and] a mask over his nose" and tries to kill his fellow men. Through his tall tales and speculations, Mr. Dooley reveals the pleasure and pain of being Irish in Chicago at the turn of the twentieth century.
Clothed in the charming hyperbole and mislocution of the unflappable Mr. Dooley, Dunne's incisive social criticism flies unerringly to the target, exposing prejudice, hypocrisy, insensitivity, and plain old-fashioned humbug.
In New Perspectiveson the Irish Diaspora, Charles Fanning incorporates eighteen fresh perspectives on the Irish diaspora over three centuries and around the globe. He enlists scholarly tools from the disciplines of history, sociology, literary criticism, folklore, and culture studies to present a collection of writings about the Irish diaspora of great variety and depth.
A collection of eighteen critical essays and twenty-six translations spanning the career of one of the founding intellects of Irish Studies, the Selected Writings of John V. Kelleher on Ireland and Irish America consists of five accessible sections. The first gathers Kelleher’s essays on the most widely known Irish cultural phenomenon—the literary renaissance of the early twentieth century. Part two contains his judicious assessments of Irish literature in its post-Revolutionary phase. The third section includes Kelleher’s insightful essays on the experience of the Irish in America. The fourth section contains essays that examine early Irish literature and culture, opening with a benchmark essay for Irish Studies, “Early Irish History and Pseudo-History,” which was read at the inaugural meeting of the American Conference for Irish Studies in 1961. The collection concludes with Kelleher’s translations and adaptations of poems in Old, Middle, and Modern Irish, illustrating his command of the language at every stage.
In Transnational Nationalism and Collective Identity among the American Irish, Howard Lune considers the development and mobilization of different nationalisms over 125 years of Irish diasporic history (1791–1920) and how these campaigns defined the Irish nation and Irish citizenship.
Lune takes a collective approach to exploring identity, concentrating on social identities in which organizations are the primary creative agent to understand who we are and how we come to define ourselves. As exiled Irishmen moved to the United States, they sought to create a new Irish republic following the American model. Lune traces the construction of Irish American identity through the establishment and development of Irish nationalist organizations in the United States. He looks at how networks—such as societies, clubs, and private organizations—can influence and foster diaspora, nationalism, and nationalist movements.
By separating nationalism from the physical nation, Transnational Nationalism and Collective Identity among the American Irish uniquely captures the processes and mechanisms by which collective identities are constructed, negotiated, and disseminated. Inevitably, this work tackles the question of what it means to be Irish—to have a nationality, a community, or a shared history.
Over time, the image of the Irish in the United States changed from that of hard-drinking Paddies to genial working-class citizens.
In 'Twas Only an Irishman's Dream, William H. A. Williams traces the change in this image through more than seven hundred pieces of sheet music--popular songs from the stage and for the parlor--to show how Americans' opinions of Ireland and the Irish swung from one extreme to the other.
As Williams shows, sheet music's place as a commercial item meant it had to be acceptable to the broadest possible song-buying public. Negotiations about the image of the Irish and Irish Americans involved Irish songwriters, performers, and pressured groups on one side, and non-Irish writers, publishers, and audiences on the other. Williams ties the contents of song lyrics to the history of the Irish diaspora, revealing how societies create ethnic stereotypes and how such stereotypes evolve, and even disappear, from mainstream popular culture.
In 1867 forty Irish-Americans sailed for Ireland to fight against British rule. Claiming that emigrants to America remained British citizens, authorities arrested the men for treason, sparking a crisis and trial that dragged the U.S. and Britain to the brink of war. Lucy Salyer recounts this gripping tale, a prelude to today’s immigration battles.
Whitman and the Irish
Joann P. Krieg University of Iowa Press, 2000 Library of Congress PS3233.K75 2000 | Dewey Decimal 811.3
Though Walt Whitman created no Irish characters in his early works of fiction, he did include the Irish as part of the democratic portrait of America that he drew in Leaves of Grass. He could hardly have done otherwise. In 1855, when the first edition of Leaves of Grass was published, the Irish made up one of the largest immigrant populations in New York City and, as such, maintained a cultural identity of their own. All of this “Irishness” swirled about Whitman as he trod the streets of his Mannahatta, ultimately becoming part of him and his poetry. As members of the working class, famous authors, or close friends, the Irish left their mark on Whitman the man and poet. In Whitman and the Irish, Joann Krieg convincingly establishes their importance within the larger framework of Whitman studies.
Focusing on geography rather than biography, Krieg traces Whitman's encounters with cities where the Irish formed a large portion of the population—New York City, Boston, Camden, and Dublin—or where, as in the case of Washington, D.C., he had exceptionally close Irish friends. She also provides a brief yet important historical summary of Ireland and its relationship with America.
Whitman and the Irish does more than examine Whitman's Irish friends and acquaintances: it adds a valuable dimension to our understanding of his personal world and explores a number of vital questions in social and cultural history. Krieg places Whitman in relation to the emerging labor culture of ante-bellum New York, reveals the relationship between Whitman's cultural nationalism and the Irish nationalism of the late nineteenth century, and reflects upon Whitman's involvement with the Union cause and that of Irish American soldiers.
A World I Never Made
James T. Farrell, with an Introduction by Charles Fanning University of Illinois Press, 2006 Library of Congress PS3511.A738W67 2007 | Dewey Decimal 813.52
A sprawling tale of two families' struggles with harsh urban realities
The first book in Farrell's five-volume series to be republished by the University of Illinois Press, A World I Never Made introduces three generations from two families, the working-class O'Neills and the lower-middle-class O'Flahertys. The lives of the O'Neills in particular reflect the tragic consequences of poverty, as young Danny O'Neill's parents--unable to sustain their large family--send him to live with his grandmother. Seen here at the age of seven, Danny is fraught with feelings of anxiety and dislocation as he learns the ins and outs of life on the street, confronting for the first time a world he never made.