The Americanisation of Ireland: Our relationship with America was not all one way

Book review: David Fitzpatrick combines rigorous analysis with human experiences

President John F Kennedy’s visit to  Galway. Fitzpatrick demonstrates that “the course of modern Irish history is inexplicable without confronting Americanisation”. Photograph: Corbis/Getty Images

President John F Kennedy’s visit to Galway. Fitzpatrick demonstrates that “the course of modern Irish history is inexplicable without confronting Americanisation”. Photograph: Corbis/Getty Images

The exodus of nearly 10 million people from Ireland after 1700 to North America, but also Britain and Australasia, created a diaspora unique in scale and significance.

Across the world today millions of people – the estimates vary widely – who are the descendants of those who left the country constitute the global Irish, people who through ethnic or cultural ties proudly describe themselves as Irish.

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