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Books & Authors

Irish in America

Charming Billy by Alice McDermott
When the late Billy Lynch's relatives and friends gather together to keep his memory alive, stories are woven and memories relived detailing his life in the close Irish-American community and the intricate feelings that resurface.

Cracker Culture : Celtic Ways in the Old South by Grady McWhiney
Cracker Culture is a provocative study of social life in the Old South that probes the origin of cultural differences between the South and the North throughout American history. Among Scotch-Irish settlers the term "Cracker" initially designated a person who boasted, but in American usage the word has come to designate poor whites. McWhiney uses the term to define culture rather than to signify an economic condition. Although all poor whites were Crackers, not all Crackers were poor whites; both, however, were Southerners. The author insists that Southerners and Northerners were never alike. American colonists who settled south and west of Pennsylvania during the 17th and 18th centuries were mainly from the "Celtic fringe" of the British Isles. The culture that these people retained in the New World accounts in considerable measure for the difference between them and the Yankees of New England, most of whom originated in the lowlands of the southeastern half of the island of Britain. From their solid base in the southern backcountry, Celts and their "Cracker" descendants swept westward throughout the antebellum period until they had established themselves and their practices across the Old South.

Irish Eyes by Hope Tarr
Eighteen-year-old Rose O'Neill leaves her beloved Ireland and boards a steamer bound for New York City. She's starting a new life with Adam, the American soldier who's sworn to marry her. But when she arrives at New York Harbour Rose finds herself abandoned, pregnant and alone. Scared and homeless, she takes a job at one of New York's luxury hotels, and gradually begins to see a future for herself and her unborn child. But when a deadly fire rips through the hotel, in one shocking moment Rose loses all she has built. Rose's luck finally begins to change when she meets fireman Joe Kavanaugh, a man determined to win her heart.

Irish Thoroughbred by Nora Roberts
There's nothing left for Adelia Cunnane in Ireland. The aunt she cared for has passed, and the family farm has been sold for taxes. But her uncle Paddy has written her: Come to America...

My Father Left Me Ireland : An American Son's Search for Home by Michael Brendan Dougherty
National Review senior writer Michael Brendan Dougherty delivers a mediation on belonging, fatherhood, and nationalism, through a series of letters to his estranged Irish father. The child of an Irish man and an Irish-American woman who split up soon after he was born, Michael Brendan Dougherty grew up with an acute sense of absence. He loved his mother but longed for his father, who only occasionally returned from Ireland for visits. He was happy enough in America, but desperately wanted the sense of cultural belonging that his Irish half-siblings seemed to enjoy. When his first child was born, Dougherty knew he wanted to give her that kind of solid connection to her heritage. Aware that he was becoming a cliché--the Irish-American who wants to be more Irish than the Irish--he began to study Gaelic. He buried himself in Irish history and learned old songs to sing to his daughter. Most significantly, he began writing letters to his father about what he remembered, what he missed, and what he longed for, realizing along the way that his longings were shared by many of his generation. These letters would become this book.

Mystery of the Irish Wilderness : Land and Legend of Father John Joseph Hogan's Lost Irish Colony in the Ozark Wilderness by Leland Payton
Deep in the Missouri Ozarks is a wilderness preserve named after a short-lived settlement of Irish immigrants. They came in hope and optimism, only to be scattered by conflicting forces of the Civil War. Today, hikers and trail riders value the isolation of the Irish Wilderness in the rugged southeast Missouri Ozarks. In the 1970s, native Ozarkers and environmentalists clashed over the creation of a no-timbering zone within the Mark Twain National Forest. The "battle for the Irish", as preservationists called it, was decided when Congress approved a 16,500 acre tract in 1984. One-hundred-twenty-five years earlier there was a deadlier conflict in these hills between locals and outsiders. During the Civil War, Union troops and bushwhackers virtually depopulated the region. Mixed in with southern highland pioneers, were hundreds of recently arrived Potato Famine immigrants. After the war, many highlanders drifted back. The Irish colony vanished. Even its founder, Father John Joseph Hogan, never learned exactly what happened. This thoroughly researched and heavily illustrated book looks at the myths, the facts and the still sparsely settled wild landscape.

Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan
Nora and Theresa Flynn are twenty-one and seventeen when they leave their small village in Ireland and journey to America. Nora is the responsible sister; she's shy and serious and engaged to a man she isn't sure that she loves. Theresa is gregarious; she is thrilled by their new life in Boston and besotted with the fashionable dresses and dance halls on Dudley Street. But when Theresa ends up pregnant, Nora is forced to come up with a plan--a decision with repercussions they are both far too young to understand.

Small Mercies by Dennis Lehane
One night Mary Pat's teenage daughter Jules stays out late and doesn't come home. That same evening, a young Black man is found dead, struck by a subway train under mysterious circumstances. The two events seem unconnected. But Mary Pat, propelled by a desperate search for her missing daughter, begins turning over stones best left untouched--asking questions that bother Marty Butler, chieftain of the Irish mob, and the men who work for him, men who don't take kindly to any threat to their business.

The First Kennedys : The Humble Roots of an American Dynasty by Neal Thompson
Today, we remember the Kennedys as an iconic American family - the vanguard of wealth, power, and style rather than as the descendants of poor immigrants. Based on genealogical breakthroughs and previously unreleased records, this is the first book to explore the inspiring story of the poor Irish refugee couple, Patrick and Bridget Kennedy, who escaped famine, created a life together in a city hostile to Irish, immigrants, and Catholics, and launched the Kennedy dynasty in America.

The Irish in St. Louis : From Shanty to Lace Curtain by Patrick Murphy
It took a long time for St. Louis to embrace its Irish population to the point of throwing two annual St. Patrick's Day parades. When the first waves of Famine Irish arrived on the landing, the city was appalled by their poverty. Anti-Catholic sentiment sparked bloody riots in which the Irish gave as good as they got. But after seven centuries of British occupation and a devastating famine, nothing would stop them from finding a place in their adopted city. The story of their assimilation is as complex and multifaceted as the Irish character itself. The Irish in St. Louis introduces us to priests and gangsters, artists and revolutionaries, entrepreneurs and entertainers. It takes us to the rough-and-tumble neighborhoods of 19th-century Kerry Patch and Dogtown, where immigrants and their children forged paths into the city's mainstream while preserving their Irish identity. The Irish in St. Louis explores how that identity was shaped through the process of becoming American.

Tracing Your Irish & British Roots by W. Daniel Quillen
More than 63 million Americans claim Irish or British ancestry. And many of those millions are searching for their ancestral roots. Most won't be able to trace back many generations before they have to "leap across the pond" in search of their ancestors, and Volume V in Quillen's Essentials of Genealogy helps budding genealogists do just that.

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records : A Guide for Family Historians by Chris Paton
It is often within land records that we can find evidence of our ancestors' existence, in some cases the only evidence, where the relevant vital records for an area may never have been kept or may not have survived. In Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records, genealogist and best-selling author Chris Paton explores how the surviving records can help with our ancestral research, but also tell the stories of the communities from within which our ancestors emerged. He explores the often controversial history of ownership of land across the island, the rights granted to those who held estates and the plights of the dispossessed, and identifies the various surviving records which can help to tease out the stories of many of Ireland's forgotten generations.


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