‘Through American eyes’
100 years of Ireland in National Geographic magazine
in Spacing Ireland
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This chapter examines the representation of Ireland as an exotic other on the edge of Europe. For much of the twentieth century, Ireland was perceived as a comparatively poor, quaintly nostalgic location for the American imagination. Even during the brash economic boom in the late twentieth century, National Geographic magazine's (NG) representations of Irish landscape and society frequently reached back to earlier lyrical imagery of a laid-back, misty isle. The NG perspective from the 1930s reflected the preoccupations of the Harvard Irish Survey 1932 to 1936, which was interested in the ethnoracial typology of the Irish, especially in the west. During the years of silence, the NG's predictions of change in Ireland were more than realised. The Celtic Tiger economy transformed the life and landscape that had been a core aspect of the magazine's word and picture reportage on Ireland.

Spacing Ireland

Place, society and culture in a post-boom era


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