Ireland’s Great Famine recasts traditional approaches to the Irish experience in America in a striking new reading of the history. This is the first compact synthesis to place Ireland’s Great Famine at the heart of the modern ethnic narrative, and to explore the Famine’s Irish-American legacy as a key factor in its course.
Ireland’s Great Famine in Irish-American History: Enshrining a Fateful Memory offers a new, concise interpretation of the history of the Irish in America. Author and distinguished professor Mary Kelly’s book is the first synthesized volume to track Ireland’s Great Famine within America’s immigrant history, and to consider the impact of the Famine on Irish ethnic identity between the mid-1800s and the end of the twentieth century. Moving beyond traditional emphases on Irish-American cornerstones such as church, party, and education, the book maps the Famine’s legacy over a century and a half of settlement and assimilation. This is the first attempt to contextualize a painful memory that has endured fitfully, and unquestionably, throughout Irish-American historical experience.
Introduction: Irish Hunger: Irish-American Crucible
1 Floodtide: Framing Famine Memory between 1845 and 1900
2 Latent Memory: Constructing Irish-American Identity in the early 1900s
3 Ethnic Progression: Selective Memory by the mid-1900s
4 “Where Past and Present Mingle”: Roadways to Remembrance
5 Long Threatening: From Confrontation to Commemoration in the 1990s
Epilogue: At the End of the Day
About the Author