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The Boston Irish: A Political History by…
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The Boston Irish: A Political History (1995)

by Thomas H. O'Connor

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Subtitled "A Political History" this is the Dean of Boston History's story of the rise of Irish from subjugated minority to political power in Boston. While there is a lot more that could be said of Boston Irish history this book focuses on the Irish mayors and a few other political leaders as well as Irish-American Catholic bishops attempts to help lead their flock into the Boston mainstream. O'Connor follows to trends - the business-like, accommodationist attempts to work with the traditional Yankee power elite and the more confrontational, neighborhood-focused style emphasized by John Fitzgerald and James Michael Curley. This was an interesting summary of politics in Boston history and especially informative of the big figures in recent history of Boston. ( )
  Othemts | Aug 18, 2010 |
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According to Thomas O'Connor, Irish political dominance in Boston grew out of generations of bitter and unyielding conflict between Yankees and Irish Catholic immigrants. Unlike the Irish in other American cities, the settlers in Boston encountered a homogenous, long-established Anglo-Saxon population openly hostile toward the Irish and all things Roman Catholic. O'Connor charts the course of the Irish's growing political influence in Boston against the background of this clash between two different cultures. He argues that Irish politicians established a distinct philosophy of government that often shifted from traditional Democratic leadership to local neighborhood populism.… (more)

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