From the Inside Flap
Virtually every chapter of American history has been shaped by the millions of immigrants who have arrived on these shores over the centuries. And none more so than the Irish. As historian Edward T. O?Donnell documents in 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About Irish American History, Irish immigrants have played a central role in the defining the American character and identity. For more than four hundred years the Irish have fled British oppression, religious persecution, and during the famine years in the 1840s, mass starvation to begin a new life in America. Here, while enduring poverty and discrimination, the Irish released their long-suppressed talents as entrepreneurs, leaders, scholars, soldiers, builders, athletes, writers, and artists.
1001 Things Everyone Should Know About Irish American History is a comprehensive and vividly illustrated celebration of Irish enterprise, talent, and courage. Organized around such broad subjects as culture, politics, business, religion, and sports, it engagingly profiles the Irish American presidents and Congressional Medal of Honor recipients and highlights the ten most important works of Irish American fiction, while offering many surprises. Alongside the exploits of Irish American soldiers like General Philip Sheridan, O?Donnell tells the incredible story of Jennie Hodgers, a Belfast-born woman who served in the Union Army disguised as a man. Elsewhere Bing Crosby shares the stage with Willis O?Brien, the brilliant pioneer of film animation and the man who brought Nat King Cole to life. Entrepreneur Henry Ford is featured with Rose O?Neill, inventor of the wildly popular Kewpie Doll. And throughout readers will find answers to questions like who was the Murphy who dreamed up ?Murphy?s Law??; why is a do-over shot in golf called a ?mulligan??; what exactly does it mean to ?scream like a banshee??; and did Mrs. O?Leary?s cow really start the Great Chicago Fire of 1871?
Written with the understanding that so much of the Irish experience in America is inseparable from the history of the Emerald Isle, 1001 Things also devotes substantial coverage to the history of Ireland.
These ingredients combine to demonstrate how the Irish have shaped America?and make 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About Irish American History the ideal book for Irish Americans eager to discover more about their rich heritage.
About the Author
Edward T. O’Donnell is a professor of American history at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is the author of numerous articles and essays about Irish American history, including a weekly history column for the Irish Echo newspaper. He lives in Holden, Massachusetts with his wife and four daughters. Please visit his Web site www.EdwardTODonnell.com.
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