Irish History reading list

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 4:18pm -- jrusnak

     Newport and the Irish go together almost as well as St. Patrick’s Day and corned beef and cabbage. The story of Irish Immigration into what is now Newport began in the 1600s as the new colonies started to grow. It wouldn’t be until the 1800’s that Newport would gain such a large population of Irish immigrants due to the Great Potato famine. They began working in coal mines in Portsmouth then with the introduction of the gilded age after the American Civil War, The Irish began to settle between the ports and lavish mansions of the Irish. Today it is called the fifth ward and still had quite the Irish heritage.  Some living there can trace their ancestors back to the gilded age and even earlier. Come check out one of our great books and learn a thing or two about Irish history and their involvement in Newport and New England at large.



How the Irish Saved Civilization: the Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe

by Thomas Cahill

From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Charlemagne, the "dark ages" where learning, scholarship, and culture disappeared from the European continent, but it would be saved in an unlikely place. The great heritage of western civilization, from the Greek and Roman Classics to the Jewish and Christian works, would have utterly been lost were it not for the holy men and women of unconquered Ireland.



Irish America, Coming into Clove: the Evolution of a People and Culture 

by Maureen Dezell

Skillfully weaving history and reporting, observation and opinion, Dezell traces the changing makeup of the Irish population in the country from early immigrants to today's affluent, educated Irish Americans.


The Irish in America

by Michael Coffey

To celebrate the accomplishments of those Irish immigrants that began arriving in the mid 17th century and to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the onset of the Irish potato Famine which led to the largest Irish migration in history, this lavishly produced book brings to life the full and rich saga of the Irish in America.



Irish Titan, Irish Toliers: Joseph Banigan and Nineteenth-Century New England Labor

bu Scott Molloy

A superlative labor history of Rhode Island at the formative age of the industrilization of America, Molloy focusing on Joseph Banigan, an Irish potato famine refugee, examines the story of 19th century Irish immigration into the cauldron of political struggles and labor resistance.




The Irish Americans: a History

by Jay Dolan

Jay P. Dolan of the University of Notre Dame is one of America's most acclaimed scholars of immigration and ethnic history. In The Irish Americans, he caps his decades of research and writing with magisterial history of the Irish experience in the United States


Ireland: A History

by Thomas Bartlett

An indespensable guide to Ireland's past and present.,Bartlett surveys the earliest histories of Ireland up to the modorn history of two Irelands.


The Boston Irish: a Political History

by Thomas O'Connor

This engaging volume thoroughly examines the colorful and rich history of Boston Irish politics from colonial times to the present.



Wars of the Irish Kings

by David McCullough

For the first thousand years of its history, Ireland was shaped by its monasteries and its wars. The artistic flourishing of the monasteries has received a great deal of attention but Irelands warrior history has been left in the dark. McCullough turns back the pages of time to the earliest accounts of the violent and varied wars that have for years gone unremembered. 

Irish Fairy and Folk Tales

by W.B. Yeats

A collection of Irish fairy tales, with a concentration on the fairies themselves, including "The Stolen Child," "The Witches' Excursion," and "The Horned Women."




or check out these other scholarly works:


The Irish in New England

ed. by Peter Benes

A publication from the Dublin Seminar for New England Folklore, which holds a continuing series of annual conferences, exhibitions, and publications and whose purpose is to explore the everyday life, work, and culture in New England's past. 


A State of Hope: Irish Immigration During the Potato Famine

by the Newport Historical Society

A dramatization of letters between Irish immigrants here in the U.S to their families back in Ireland to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the onset of the Irish Potato Famine


Irish in Rhode Island: a Historical Appreciation

by Patrick Conley 

This Historical appreciation by Patrick Conoly traces the history of the Irish in Rhode Island from the early colonial days until its publication in the mid 1980's