"This excellent volume succeeds in correcting long-held views about the unproblematic nature of Irish-Jewish relations. With its focus on attitudes toward and treatments of Jewish migrants and the Jewish minority’s hybrid identity the book’s significance surpasses its subject matters and contributes to current discourses on migration, intolerance toward immigrants, and integration."—Journal of British Studies
"Ultimately by embracing the cumulative efforts of historians, literary critics, performance theorists, sociologists and demographers that Irish Questions and Jewish Questions makes its most significant contribution to the development of Irish historiography as it demonstrates the capacity of interdisciplinary and transnational perspectives to deepen our understanding of the complex evolution of Irish identity."—Irish Studies Review
"Boldly revisionist—challenging and deconstructing the notion that Ireland was friendly to Jews, the authors offer a more nuanced and complex image of the ambiguous and often unsettling relationship between Irish and Jews."—Eugenio Biagini, coeditor of The Cambridge Social History of Ireland since 1740
"The volume showcases what new methodological approaches can do: Hession and Wynn clearly shine, while Oakley Kessler’s essay reiterates the virtues and rewards of deep historical detective work and also shines a light on a key era in Irish economic development, where it intersects with the politics of rescue, prior to the Second World War. Gilman and Watt offer potential new avenues of exploration."—H-Judaic
"Beatty’s and O’Brien’s comprehensive collection corrects and amplifies our understanding
of the historically significant relationship between the Irish and Jews, one that has been largely governed by the linking analogy of the title, but, as these critics show, with insufficient nuance. These impressive essays represent in divergent ways what Stephen Watt describes in his contribution as the ‘multi-disciplinary bristle of a nascent Irish-Jewish studies.’"—Marilyn Reizbaum, Bowdoin College
"[An] Illuminating volume of erudite essays."—Times of Israel
"This collection is a strong innovation in the field of Irish Jewish Studies which highlights the necessity of interdisciplinary research to approach questions of identity and belonging from all angles."—Canadian Journal of Irish Studies
The Irish and the Jews are two of the classic outliers of modern Europe. Both struggled with
their lack of formal political sovereignty in the nineteenth-century. Simultaneously
European and not European, both endured a bifurcated status, perceived as racially inferior and
yet also seen as a natural part of the European landscape. Both sought to deal with their
subaltern status through nationalism; both had a tangled, ambiguous, and sometimes violent
relationship with Britain and the British Empire; and both sought to revive ancient languages as
part of their drive to create a new identity. The career of Irish politician Robert Briscoe and the
travails of Leopold Bloom are just two examples of the delicate balancing of Irish and Jewish
identities in the first half of the twentieth century.
Irish Questions and Jewish Questions explores these shared histories, covering several
centuries of the Jewish experience in Ireland, as well as events in Israel–Palestine and North
America. The authors examine the leading figures of both national movements to reveal how
each had an active interest in the successes, and failures, of the other. Bringing together
leading and emerging scholars from the fields of Irish studies and Jewish studies, this volume
captures the most recent scholarship on their comparative history with nuance
and remarkable insight.
Aidan Beatty has held fellowships at Concordia University and Trinity College Dublin and now teaches at Wayne State University. His first book, Masculinity and Power in Irish Nationalism, was awarded the American Conference for Irish Studies’ Prize for Best Book in History and Social Sciences.
Dan O’Brien is currently an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at University College Dublin. He holds a PhD from University College Cork.
Series: Irish Studies
6 x 9, 280 pages, 1 black and white illustrations