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The Scotch-Irish: A Social History Paperback – August 30, 1989
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"Journal of Presbyterian History"
Work . . . of such merit that it should supersede most of its predecessors.
"Mississippi Valley Historical Review"
Shrewd and novel speculations on frontier society and national character. . . . The best survey yet of the Scotch-Irish.
"American Historical Review"
Clearly written and well organized. . . . Leyburn has provided the general reader with an extremely useful account.
"North Carolina Historical Review"
A most readable contribution to the growing body of sophisticated literature on immigration in the colonial period.
"Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography"
Particularly welcome as a general study of the Scotch-Irish before and during their move to America. . . . This book shows clearly the usefulness of an interdisciplinary approach to social history.--Maryland Historical Magazine
The work of an able sociologist who is equally proficient as a historian, this scholarly, objective study of a significant immigrant group is of such merit that it should supersede most of its predecessors. Against the background of the history of the Lowland Scot, as he moved from Scotland to Ireland to America, the author has made a sober reappraisal of how character and culture were molded by these migrations. His style is clear and most readable.--Mississippi Valley Historical Review
Sociologists interested in the field of intergroup relations will read with interest this sweeping social history of the Scotch-Irish. . . . A substantial contribution to the literature on American ethnic groups.--American Sociological Review
Shrewd and novel speculations on frontier society and national character. . . . The best survey yet of the Scotch-Irish.--American Historical Review
This admirable book takes a fresh and frank look at the Scotch-Irish, examining with discernment the effect on them of their long migration from Scotland through Ulster to colonial America. . . . Soundly conceived and written with insight and verve, the book dispels some common misconceptions of the Scotch-Irish.--Journal of Presbyterian History
[Leyburn] has produced the best synthesis of what is known of the Scotch-Irish in their two centuries as an identifiably distinct people. . . . It is a tribute to the author's skill in writing that the epic quality survives even when he has discredited the many myths that have come to surround it. . . . We have to thank [Leyburn] for a most readable contribution to the growing body of sophisticated literature on immigration in the colonial period.--Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography
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Top Customer Reviews
Millions of Americans with Scottish surnames are actually of Scotch-Irish descent... the descendants of poor Scottish farmers who were given the opportunity to cultivate small parcels of ground on captured lands in Northern Ireland starting in 1610. This book is the story of the eviction of native Irish people from ancient family farms, and the exploitation of impoverished Scots who were used to tenant the confiscated properties. The Irish were sent to remote reservations, and some became embittered outlaws who lived beyond the Pale, the boundary of the Ulster Plantation. The Scots persisted and developed a distinct culture, not Scotch and not Irish, then were evicted by their British landlords within three generations.
Ma! ny of the displaced Scotch-Irish emigrated to the Colonies, and populated the dangerous ground along the frontier. Others stayed and became the ancestors of the Unionists, a broad classification which includes the Protestant paramilitary enemies of the IRA.
"The Scotch-Irish: A Social History" provides a fundamental lesson in the long term effects of ethnic cleansing and shows why towns like Belfast, Derry and Enniskillen will likely continue to bleed from within; as well as displaying the elemental survival struggles which hammered the raw fortitude of our Scotch-Irish ancestors into a pioneering spirit.
A must read for students of Irish, Scottish or American history, which, you will see after reading this book, are seemingly irrevocably intertwined.
Leyburn's book (1962) is now "the grand old man" of Scots-Irish historiography, having easily displaced Henry Jones Ford's "The Scotch-Irish in America" (1915) - a book that was the previous generation's best study of the subject. Leyburn was one of the earliest authors to seriously investigate the Scottish background of the Scots-Irish, and did a wonderful job of not overpraising or overly denigrating the Scots-Irish (as a number of previous authors had done). Unfortunately, his book has an important flaw: he did not think very highly of Scots in general, and compared them unfavorably with their more successful (in modern terms) English cousins just about every chance he got. In other words, he did not understand the anthropological concept of culture at all; he was a historian after all, and largely a very good one. However, there is more to understanding the Scots-Irish than documents and written records, as is explained more fully below.
One of the most interesting aspects in Scots-Irish studies is how different schools of thought have risen and debated each other over the course of the last century and a half. There are four primary schools of thought. 1) The Ancestor Worshipper historians were the first to investigate the subject and brought a huge amount of forgotten information to the public eye between circa 1850 and today. Their primary limitation was that they believed that every great thing accomplished by Americans - representative government, education, religion, etc - had their origins with Scots-Irish traditions and heritage. These authors included those included in the volumes published by the Scotch-Irish Congresses, Charles Hanna, Ford, Maude Glasgow, W.F.Read more ›
They enthusiastically supported the American Revolution (as in significantly caused it to happen) and thought of themselves as "Americans" rather than Scotch-Irish.
This book covers their migrations, their lifestyles, the dominant element of the Christian religion in their society. It is informative, and to me, inspirational.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great story of the Scotch-Irish and their migration to the Ulster Plantation and then on to America. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Michael K.
This is an enjoyable book that is better read on the iPad than on some Kindles. I used both to find out that the readability was enhanced on my iPad. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Nancy Schmitz
I gave this book as a gift to my niece - no word from her yet. I was gifted a copy many, many years ago by a fellow genealogist, and I thoroughly enjoyed the read. Read morePublished 4 months ago by George Lambkin
This is an exceptional historical treatment of the Appalachian Scotch Irish. Where did they come from? Who were they? Read morePublished 5 months ago by Fond Reader
I would never bother with this book. if he can't even get the title right. it's scots-irish. scotch is whiskey from Scotland. Read morePublished 6 months ago by kenneth william kisch
This is a valuable, well-researched history of the Scots-Irish, from their years in Ulster to their emigration to America and settlement in the backcountry of the Mid-Atlantic and... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Storydeva
I'm Scots-Irish & our culture is so imbeded in so many of the most interesting, great people & through-out the country, we hardly even notice it. Read morePublished 9 months ago by L.H. McDaniel,lll