The poetry of accumulation
Irish-American fables of resistance
in Tracing the cultural legacy of Irish Catholicism
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Eamonn Wall’s discussion of Irish American Catholic experience reveals many similarities on either side of the pond, and some differences also. The Irish American authors and commentators provide unique perspectives on many facets of Irish life, including the unique role played by the Catholic Church. Among the authors discussed are Frank McCourt, whose account of a poor Catholic childhood in Limerick is so memorably captured in the best-seller, Angela’s Ashes, Colum McCann, Colm Tóibín and Mary Gordon. Similarly, the theologian Richard P. McBrien, journalist and writer Maureen Dezell, and sociologist Andrew Greely combine to illustrate the impact that the Irish Church has had on its American equivalent. Wall maintains that looking towards Ireland from the US, and drawing on American notions of egalitarianism and individual freedom, sometimes allows for a more dispassionate view of Ireland’s Catholic heritage and enables envisaging its future with a far greater clarity than can be achieved when change is all around you.

Tracing the cultural legacy of Irish Catholicism

From Galway to Cloyne and beyond

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