The Irish have had a significant impact on America across three centuries, helping to shape politics, law, labor, war, literature, journalism, entertainment, business, sports, and science. This encyclopedia explores why the Irish came to America, where they settled, and how their distinctive Irish-American identity was formed. Well-known Irish Americans are profiled, but the work also captures the essence of everyday life for Irish-Americans as they have assimilated, established communities, and interacted with other ethnic groups.
The approximately 200 entries in this comprehensive, one-stop reference are organized into four themes: the context of Irish-American emigration; political and economic life; cultural and religious life; and literature, the arts, and popular culture. Each section offers a historical overview of the subject matter, and the work is enriched by a selection of primary documents.
- Demonstrates the intricate—and far-reaching—nature of the Irish-American connection
- Covers the variety of the Irish-American political experience in the North and South rather than focusing only on northern populations
- Distinguishes between the experience of Irish Protestants and Irish Catholics
- Highlights the Irish propensity for inventiveness in America and Irish contributions to business and technology
- Discusses the prominence of the Irish in the Catholic Church in the United States