Edward Everett Root Publishers Co. Ltd.


About this book

This new study offers unique insights into the variety of Irish American identities and nationalist ideologies as well as on the larger question of what it meant to be ‘ethnic’ in the U.S. during and after America’s entry into World War 1.

‘Reshaping’ Atlantic Connections uses the mission of the American-born Irish leader Eamon de Valera to the U.S. from June 1919 to December 1920 to explore these questions. Dr. Cosi argues that on the basis of de Valera’s American mission, neither Ireland nor Irish America can be understood as a separate entity. When the two are taken together, fresh insights emerge on the nature of diaspora, especially its political dimensions.

Dr. Cosi thus offers a new and critical examination of de Valera’s interplay with multiple Irish networks and circuits across the U.S. This goes well beyond the traditional focus of the Northeast and Midwest, and suggests a re-evaluation of Irish American ideological, political, and geographical borders, both internally and in its relations with Ireland.

The study also presents valuable insights into how the Irish Free State achieved independence, and how a nation moving toward independence interacted with its diaspora. It offers a new understanding of the multilateral connections and interactions among the Irish at home and abroad in the critical years between 1917 and 1921. 

As a result of these years Irish America’s ideological borders expanded to embrace a set of varied and composite identities both within the U.S. and across the Atlantic Ocean. Multiple identities and ideologies, formed and shaped in part by location, interacted with one another during de Valera’s visit. The mission helped to reframe the relationships between Irish and Irish American nationalisms and demonstrated how Ireland’s and Irish America’s images of each other evolved and were crucially intertwined within a specific conceptualisation of the Irish claim to nationhood, in line with Wilsonian idealism and the principle of self-determination.

‘Reshaping’ Atlantic Connections in fact examines how these relationships were shaped and formed by previous missions of Irish nationalists to America and how de Valera’s visit was built on – and in some cases departed from - this history. Dr. Cosi also examines the complex relationships between the Irish and Irish American nationalist movements. Although it focuses on the significance of de Valera’s mission in re-shaping these.

About the author

Dr.Cosi was educated at the University of Bologna and University College Dublin, where her research examined the interplay between Irish and Irish American identities and nationalist ideologies during the War of Independence. She has subsequently spent periods of study and research in the U.S. at the American Irish Historical Society, Notre Dame University and Boston College. She currently teaches North American History as part of the Academic staff of the Canadian School of Florence (Italy).

ISBN 9781915115355  Hardback  £125.00   Order
ISBN 9781915225362  eBook          tbc 

229mm. x 152 mm.

c.280pp. 4 black & white illustrations.

Available July 2024

'Reshaping' Atlantic Connections

Ireland and Irish America 1917-1921

Gessica Cosi