Aiding Ireland explores the ways that disparate groups around the world used Irish famine relief in the 1840s to advance their own political agendas. Shrout takes readers from Ireland to Britain, across the Atlantic to the United States, and across the Mississippi to Indian Territory, uncovering how and why people from myriad social, ethnic, and religious backgrounds became involved in Irish famine relief.
History | NYU Press | Hardcover | $39 | 9781479824595 | 272 p | 6 x 9 in | On sale: January 16, 2024
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Famine brought ruin to the Irish countryside in the nineteenth century. In response, people around the world and from myriad social, ethnic, and religious backgrounds became involved in Irish famine relief. They included enslaved Black people in Virginia, poor tenant farmers in rural New York, and members of the Cherokee and Choctaw nations, as well as plantation owners in the US south, abolitionists in Pennsylvania, and politicians in England and Ireland. Most of these people had no personal connection to Ireland. For many, the famine was their first time participating in distant philanthropy.
Aiding Ireland investigates the Irish famine as a foundational moment for normalizing international giving. Anelise Hanson Shrout argues that these diverse men and women found famine relief to be politically useful. Shrout takes readers from Ireland to Britain, across the Atlantic to the United States, and across the Mississippi to Indian Territory, uncovering what was to be gained for each group by participating in global famine relief. Aiding Ireland demonstrates that international philanthropy and aid are never simple, and are always intertwined with politics both at home and abroad.
About the Author:
Anelise Hanson Shrout is Assistant Professor in the Program in Digital and Computational Studies at Bates College, where she is also affiliated with the Department of History and the Program in American Studies.
Praise for Aiding Ireland:
"An important addition to famine historiography. Shrout has produced a rigorous and excellent analysis of the complex relationship between international philanthropy and the Irish famine."
~Christine Kinealy, Emmy-award winner of The Great Hunger and the Irish Diaspora
"In this elegant, meticulously-researched book, Anelise Shrout uncovers the ways in which international charitable responses to a nineteenth-century catastrophe in Ireland were rooted in local concerns and anxieties. Aiding Ireland is landmark work on the birth pains of global philanthropy."
~Cian T. McMahon, author of The Coffin Ship: Life and Death at Sea during the Great Irish Famine
"Aiding Ireland is an important contribution to the growing literature on the history of philanthropy. It not only examines a significant chapter in transnational giving, but also explores the underlying agendas that surrounded donations by groups such as slaves and Native Americans, broadening our understanding of the breadth and uses of philanthropy in the United States."
~Kathleen McCarthy, author of American Creed: Philanthropy and the Rise of Civil Society
"An impressive and valuable contribution to both Irish history as well as the history of international philanthropy."
~David Gleeson, Northumbria University, Newcastle