The Irish of the San Francisco Bay Area:  Essays on Good Fortune

The Irish of the San Francisco Bay Area: Essays on Good Fortune, offers a fresh perspective on the history of the Irish in North America. In twenty essays and shorter contributions by recognized scholars—both Irish and American—and Irish Studies experts, its authors describe how the Irish adjusted rapidly and well into the open society they encountered in California and the Far West.This significant reinterpretation of the 19th and 20th century Irish emigrant experience examines women’s history, the performing arts, literature, education, labor, politics, religion, race, diplomacy, and the high-tech revolution, biography and autobiography.

Neither a comprehensive study nor a narrative of the Irish experience in Northern California, the book addresses important aspects of the Irish American story and provides new insights into the role of the Irish community within the multi-ethnic San Francisco Bay area, a setting altogether different from Boston, New York, and the old industrial East.

The 11-page bibliography is the most extensive in existence on the history and culture of the Irish in the West.Contributing editor Timothy J. O’Keefe of Santa Clara University provides a valuable research tool for scholars doing new research on the Irish Diaspora.

For more detailed information: See the Table of Contents and Download the E-Book

Donald Jordan and Timothy J. O’Keefe, eds. The Irish in the San Francisco Bay Area: Essays on Good Fortune.San Francisco: Irish Literary & Historical Society/Forbes Mill Press, 2005.ISBN: 0-931180-00-7.Hardcover, 310 pages.Price: $30.00 plus shipping and handling

“An impressive collection of essays….thoughtful, well researched….a readable, much needed exploration of the Irish presence in the Bay Area.”Rose Murphy, Review.California History: The Magazine of the California Historical Society, Vol. 84, No. 2, Winter 2006-2007, 80-81.

“[A] highly informative and readable study that poses a number of questions and possibilities.”Lawrence J. McCaffrey, Review. Irish Literary Supplement. Vol. 26, Issue No. 2, Spring 2007, 10.

“The rich collection of works found in [this book] both builds on and contributes to recent scholarship on Irish America that emphasizes the importance of regional context.”John W. Hink, Jr., Review. New Hibernia Review, Vol. 11, No. 4, Winter 2007, 153-155.

The Irish in the San Francisco Bay Area: Essays on Good Fortune “gives the reader far more than the old ‘luck of the Irish’ story; it tells how the San Francisco Irish, given a level playing field, could and did succeed. The sense of the settlement and breakneck growth of the Bay Area: the grasping of chances, the social and religious networks, the people and the politics all come across in full colour. Its contributors are professional and local historians, established academics and folklorists and the essays are personal and learned, which adds to the richness of the book.” Comments by David Owens, whose extensive review appears in The Field Day Review, Vol. 3, 2007, 298-303.

Ordering Information:Copies of the book can be ordered from Eileen Kivlehan (415) 681-2078 for a cost of $32.96 (including postage).

Book Order Form.

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