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Irish America: Coming Into Clover Hardcover – February 13, 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
The book studies the Irish diaspora in the various areas of this vast country and points out how the different locations and parallel immigrations resulted in American Irish of significantly varying success, acclimation, and temperment (e.g.: San Francisco v. Chicago v. NY v. Boston). However, regardless of their differing opportunities Denzell notes the seemingly subtle but enduring culture and driving forces which endure among the American Irish -- such as a reluctance to feel secure with material success, gregariousness, and restrained demonstration of emotion. What is perhaps most interesting is that Denzell points out how most Americans, and even the American Irish, are unaware of any specifically Irish American cultural patterns,though they are pervasive and inescapable, if seemingly oblique.
Reading this book I came to understand the motivations for my own behavior much better. Heretofore I thought they were simply the quirks of my own family; reading Denzell one is struck by the strength of these historic roots. While the book describes us, warts and all, it leaves the American Irish reader with a satisfying sense of comfort and pride (not that we'd ever publicly admit it).
And the best is Maureen Dezell's depiction of women in this book...Read to find out!
When I was growing up we thought of the Italians members of the extended family as having discernible "culture" and it was tacitly assumed that the Irish relatives were just "normal Americans"; Ms. Dezell points out that this is the general condition in Irish America. It is not so much that the Irish are ashamed of their heritage (although sometimes they are), but more that they don't see any reason to make a big deal about it most of the time, so each generation takes more and more of the family character for granted. The Irish have a tendency to stick together in neighborhoods and in social organizations, and I can testify to the fact that they seem to unconsciously gravitate toward one another in a crowd, drawn together by their shared suspicion about putting on airs or taking an occasion too seriously. These reasons, and their enormous numbers, enable them to forget that they are in fact a distinct ethnic group.
Ms.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed Dezell's honesty regarding her feelings on her Irish background. I recommend it for anyone researching their Irish ancestors.Published on November 4, 2013 by Casey
This book gives a good sense of the history of the Irish in the US.
Some friends of mine have given the book to their grown children
saying this shows what it was like... Read more
Most Irish Americans interviewed for this book apologized to the author because they felt like they really had nothing to offer about Irish American culture. Read morePublished on July 12, 2007 by Timothy J. Cronin
A book I have devoured and given many times as a gift. Just because you're Irish-American doesn't mean you understand your culture. Read morePublished on February 15, 2007 by Amazon Customer
Reading Dezell, despite the choppy prose style and the staggered pace of the unevenly detailed chapters and the topical arrangement of historical fact, sociological theory, and... Read morePublished on December 13, 2005 by John L Murphy
I've not heard the above saying before,but knew immediately exactly what it meant.This book is an excellent review of what it means to be Irish and what Irish,and particularly... Read morePublished on October 24, 2004 by Jerry Guild
I'm a Jew from New York, married to someone from South Boston. One of my familys closest friends (now regrettably desceased) came to the US from Belfast at the age of 10. Read morePublished on December 22, 2002 by Michael Charton