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Director’s Choice
Respectability and Reform
Irish American Women’s Activism, 1880–1920

Tara M. McCarthy

Hardcover $65.00L    |    978-0-8156-3570-3    |    2018

Paper $34.95s    |    978-0-8156-3588-8    |    2018

ebook 978-0-8156-5436-0

"This commendable study of Irish American women’s engagement in public roles over pivotal decades between the New Departure and Ireland’s Free State creation encompasses spheres of labor, nationalist support, and suffrage. McCarthy’s welcome update to the Irish American field deserves widespread academic attention, while general readers will appreciate her strong historiographical foundation and engaging writing style. Recommended. All readers."—Choice

"This interesting book will go some way to fill a void in historical studies as, while much ink has been spilled on the work of John Devoy, O’Donovan Rossa and other men in the Irish national movement in America, relatively little has been written about the role women played there, in not only the national movement, but also in the suffragette and progressive movements."—The Irish Times

"Respectability and Reform dramatically shifts our understanding of Irish American women’s lives and deserves a wide readership not just by those interested in Irish American history but in American history more generally."—Ely M. Janis, author of A Greater Ireland: The Land League and Transatlantic Nationalism in Gilded Age America

An engaging historical and cultural account of Irish American women’s activism of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.

"McCarthy elegantly connects the quest of Irish American women for respectability with their activism on behalf of their community."—Hasia R. Diner, author of Erin’s Daughters in America

"McCarthy has broken new ground by unearthing women such as Maud Malone, who was well known in her time."—Margaret Lynch-Brennan, author of The Irish Bridget: Irish Immigrant Women in Domestic Service in America, 1840–1930

Director’s Choice
Respectability and Reform: Irish American Women’s Activism, 1880–1920 is a richly engaging historical and cultural account of Irish American women’s roles in various activist movements, including temperance, labor reform, suffrage, and Irish independence. It is the culmination of a prodigious amount of original archival research in which McCarthy elucidates, among other things, the motivations, beliefs, and strategies of many key Irish American women activists of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. McCarthy illuminates the fascinating and inspiring lives of these women, profoundly advancing our understanding of the contributions of Irish immigrant women to social, cultural, and national reform in both America and Ireland. I selected this book as my Director’s Choice because of the value of the research that McCarthy makes available, not only for Irish and Irish American history but for the history of women’s activism in America.
Alice Randel Pfeiffer, director

  Respectability and Reform

  Tara M. McCarthy is associate professor of history at Central Michigan University. Her main research interests include American women, social reform movements, and immigration.

Book Description »

View other series books on Irish Studies.

6 x 9, 320 pages, 6 black-and-white illustrations, notes, bibliography, index

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