Dear members of the department,
I'm sure you will all want to join me in congratulating our colleague Willie Jenkins on the appearance of his latest book, Between Raid and Rebellion: The Irish in Buffalo and Toronto, 1867-1916 (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013)
Here's how the press describes the book:
Willie’s book, Between Raid and Rebellion: the Irish in Buffalo and Toronto, 1867-1916, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press, compares the lives and allegiances of Irish immigrants and their descendants in one American and one Canadian city between the era of the Fenian raids in Canada (1866) and the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin. It represents an attempt to combine a local and national comparison with a transatlantic/diasporic perspective.
Highlighting the significance of immigrants from the Irish provinces of Ulster and Munster to Toronto and Buffalo respectively, Willie distinguishes what it meant to be Irish in a loyal dominion within Britain's empire and in a republic whose self-confidence knew no bounds. He examines the transformations that occurred within the Irish communities in these cities during this fifty-year period, from residential patterns to social mobility and political attitudes. Exploring their experiences in workplaces, homes, churches, and meeting halls, he argues that while various social, cultural, and political networks were crucial to the realization of Irish mobility and respectability in North America by the early twentieth century, place-related circumstances linked to wider national loyalties and diasporic concerns.
With the question of Irish self-government (or “home rule”) animating debates throughout the period, those in Toronto advocating the retention of the political status quo in the United Kingdom presented a marked contrast to Buffalo's supporters of political reform in Ireland and the rejuvenation of Irish nationhood. Although the Irish had acclimated to life in their new world cities, their sense of feeling Irish had not faded to the degree so often assumed.
Willie’s book is sure to enhance understandings of the Irish experiences in these centers and the process by which immigrants settled into new urban environments in North America more generally.
All are welcome to the book launch on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at Massey College (5-7 pm)
On behalf of the entire Department, I'd like to congratulate Willie.