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Irish: The Remarkable Saga of a Nation and a City [Paperback]

John Burrowes
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

8 April 2004
Irish is the story of the mass migration from Ireland to Glasgow that took place in the wake of the Great Famine of the mid-nineteenth century. It is an epic account of the coming together of a nation and a city. This is the tale of those who escaped a nightmare existence in the poorest and most deprived country in Europe and changed the city of Glasgow forever. Irish brings to life the horrot of those grim days and reveals the unimaginable suffering endured as a result of the Potatoe Blight. It describes in vivid detail the hazards and hardships faced by those fleeing Ireland in search of a better life overseas, including a startling account of one of the most deplorable maritime crimes ever committed, the voyage of the SS Londonderry. The coming of the Irish to Glasgow had a bigger impact on the city than other event. Now, for the first time, the truth about this most significant and stirring episode is vividly unfolded. It tells of the contribution made by Irish labourers in Glasgow to the Industrial Revolution; reveals that the legendary football clubs of Celtic and Rangers may never have existed were it not for the migrant's arrival; and describes the "Partick War", and the occasion of the first-ever Orange Walk.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing (8 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840188510
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840188516
  • Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 13.3 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 371,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

John Burrowes is a journalist and author of several books including Great Glasgow Stories, Great Glasgow Stories II, Glasgow: Tales of the City and Benny: The life and Times of a Fighting Legend.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great social history 7 Jun 2009
If you are like me a Scot of Irish descent who lives or has lived in Glasgow and the west of Scotland you will immediately connect with this story. Written in a clear and detailed way about what the Great famine was truly all about and how the thousands fleeing starvation came to work and live in the late Victorian powerhouse of industry that existed at that time. The navvies, railway workers, iron and steelmen and of course the miners, they all get a mention but more than that it explains the effects of two cultures merging. It wasn't easy then and can still be a problem now. Here's why.
I couldn't put this down its just so personal. A must read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
From a child, hearing the pieces of the family's leaving (aka fleeing) Mayo in Ireland during the great famine, from my grandparents as a child, my grandfather being an ex-miner - left a vague understanding of events, this book was a pure jewel to find, to fill in many of the details.

Our family (myself and one of my sisters) trying to trace the family history - we have a knowledge of the horrors of the famine - then jump - miners in Lanarkshire via Glasgow. The in-between being a big gap. This book has certainly helps to fill a lot of the details in.

I know that as soon as my family know I have a copy - there will be a struggle as to who is going to read it next. Knowing this, I have ordered a second copy of it from the market page on amazon- to ensure that I'll be able to hold onto a copy.

Glasgow has such a strong Irish Catholic aspect, but few have a real understanding of it. So much is lost very quickly in folk memory - this book will help preserve that!

The only problem I have with the book is that it is giving very interesting and important information, but from an academic perspective, since he does not give references to his sources, very, very important in using any book for academic research, this limits it use. I know that most people may only be interested in the "story" - but academically it is if you can not refer to original sources, then you can not use it!

However, true jewel to find!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Irish Glaswegians 30 Sep 2012
By Mickie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A book every Glaswegian should read especially those with an Irish heritage. I already knew a fair amount about the famine etc but this filled in all my gaps and I enjoyed learning the history of some buildings I was unsure of. It also informs the reader from a neutral stance of the humble beginnings of the Glasgow football clubs and subsequent rivalry. It clarifies the sectarian derivation in a factual way, connecting past with present. Great book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Irish 23 Aug 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is as complete a history of the Irish in Scotland as I have ever read. The background stories help the reader to get a feeling for the conditions of the poor in Ireland as well as Scotland. It is both well written and very readable. One of my best purchases ever..
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars irish 20 Sep 2009
I am not irish but have irish connections so I like to think I read this book with an open mind-very good book very well written and informative-but I thought a lot of the celtic information verytoungue in cheek-I don't mean in a bad way-overall a very good readable book--I am not a celtic or a rangers supporter
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By none
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was not aware that so many Irish decended on Glasgow and indeed Scotland as a whole, Wonderful, and most informative , it gives you a new angle on Irish immigration and once again the terrible hardships endured by the Irish people would highly recommend this book especially those who are interested in Irish/Scottish history
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