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The Americanisation of Ireland
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Book description

Irish emigration to America is one of the clichés of modern Irish history; much less familiar is the reverse process. Who were the people who chose to return to Ireland? What motivated them? How did this affect Irish society? While many European countries were somewhat Americanised in this period, the Irish case was unique as so many Irish families had members in America. The most powerful agency for Americanisation, therefore, was not popular culture but circumstantial knowledge and personal contact. David Fitzpatrick demonstrates the often unexpected ways in which the reverse effects of emigration remoulded Irish society, balancing original demographic research with fascinating individual profiles to assemble a vivid picture of a changing Ireland. He explores the transformative impact of reverse migration from America to post-Famine Ireland, and offers penetrating insights into its growing population of American-born residents.

Reviews

'This splendid study is classic Fitzpatrick: a mixture of imaginative, and sometimes provocative, question-framing with rigorous hypothesis testing. Reverse migration is a topic rarely touched in Irish historical work; this will be recognised as a genuinely seminal work.'

Donald H. Akenson - Queen's University, Ontario

'Historians have assumed that the Irish returned from America in tiny numbers. In a book filled with brilliant insights and vivid details, Fitzpatrick demonstrates that reverse migration was considerable and had a significant impact. Drawing strikingly original conclusions from statistical sources, he offers a major new interpretation of Irish migration history.'

Kevin Kenny - New York University

'Statistically rich and based on a range of sources, this provocative study challenges how we currently perceive returned migrants and urges a new exploration of the field. Fitzpatrick provides the map and there is no doubt that this book will lead to further reinterpretations of the ‘Americanisation’ of Irish society.'

Maria Luddy - University of Warwick

'Challenging orthodoxies of Ireland as an insular sender of emigrants, Fitzpatrick’s original study reverses priorities to explore those who came to Ireland. An original study of rich empirical quality, this book reframes our study of migratory cultures in post-Famine Ireland.'

Donald M. MacRaild - University of Roehampton

'A highly original study by one of Ireland’s greatest historians. Making imaginative use of a rich body of archival sources and demographic data, this ground-breaking study of ‘the returned Yank’ raises important new questions about the relationship between migration and modernity.'

Fearghal McGarry - Queen's University, Belfast

‘Fitzpatrick’s methodology of collating statistics, alongside common sense deduction, paints this fascinating picture of America in Ireland.’

David Doolin Source: Family & Community History

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