A Damn Yankee, Am I? Thanks!

Portraits of the Irish in the era of the civil war

About the book

Anam Communications is pleased to announce the publication of A Damn Yankee, Am I? Thanks! – Portraits of the Irish in the era of the American Civil War, a new book by the award-winning Irish broadcaster and writer, Aidan O'Hara. The book, which is available in print-on-demand and e-format from December 10th, 2022, offers a unique perspective on the oppressed and poverty-stricken majority Catholic population in Ireland in the years before the Great Famine of the 1840s and later.

The era of the Civil War is assessed as being from the start of abolitionism in the 1830s, through the war itself and its aftermath. A Damn Yankee, Am I? Thanks! deals with the arrival of the Irish immigrants in America and how they fared.

They met with prolonged prejudice from native-born Americans who were mainly Protestant, anti-Catholic and suspicious of all foreigners whom they regarded as coming from despotic regimes in Europe.

By taking part in the Civil War, the Irish hoped it would help diminish the negative stereotyping they had been experiencing in the United States where newspapers and magazines almost everywhere posted ads from employers stating, No Irish Need Apply.

"Through their stories, we gain a unique perspective on the challenges and triumphs of the Irish in this tumultuous period in American history," said author Aidan O'Hara, “where the Irish eventually succeeded in the struggle “to force open the doors of American life so zealously guarded by those who had first settled the land”.

"We are thrilled to be publishing O'Hara's latest book, which offers a compelling and enlightening look at the lives of Irish immigrants in America during the Civil War era. A Damn Yankee, Am I? Thanks! is a valuable addition to the field of Irish and American history, and we are proud to be bringing it to readers," said publisher Brian Ó hEadhra of Anam Communications.

Fully illustrated with over 500 pages of text and full-colour images, A Damn Yankee, Am I? Thanks! offers a rich and detailed look at a little-known chapter in American history. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the Civil War, Irish history, and the immigrant experience in America.

The book is available via Ingram Book Group, IngramSpark whose titles are automatically made available to tens of thousands of retailers and distributors around the globe. Order from your online or local bookseller.

A Damn Yankee, Am I? Thanks! is available for purchase by print-on-demand and in e-format and launched on the 10th of December 2022. It is published by Anam Communications. An online launch will take place in mid January 2023. More details soon. For publishing queries please email Anam Communications. It is published by Anam Communications.

Product details:

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Anam Communications (10 Dec. 2022)

Language ‏ : ‎ English

Paperback ‏ : ‎ 502 pages. Full-colour illustration.

ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1739599705

ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1739599706

Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 15.24 x 2.57 x 22.86 cm

An online launch will take place in mid-January 2023. More details soon. For publishing queries please email Anam Communications.

Book Excerpts

“We lay in the pit dug for us, and the first we knew the rebels came rushing over and said, ‘You damned Yankee, give me that flag.’ Well, I said, it is twenty years since I came to this country, and you are the first man who ever called me a Yankee. You can take the flag for the compliment.” On being called a Yankee, Mike Scannell’s succinct response summed up vividly the experience of the poor immigrant Irish who longed for acceptance in the New World having lived with “a legacy which encompasses poverty, prejudice and a very long hard struggle to achieve economic competence and some degree of respectability.”

In focusing on the apparent contradictions she saw in their make-up, this Yankee Protestant woman (Asenath Nicholson) was reflecting the curiosity of many Americans – their preoccupation, even – with these strange Irish who had been coming to their shores in ever-increasing numbers since the economic decline in

Ireland following the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815. But while thousands of her compatriots would be content to rely on popular narratives and prevailing stereotyping to inform their views of the Irish, she would go to the very source itself, “the Emerald Isle of the ocean” and having lived among them for as long as it took, set down in writing all that she saw and heard.

Perhaps the recent findings in the published works of academics, new centres of migration studies, and the proceedings of summer schools and seminars will include a long-overdue recognition of the participation of Irish emigrants – many of them Famine survivors – in the American Civil War, in which an estimated 200,000 of them fought. Some of the young men indeed had hopes that their military experience might stand to them someday when they would return home and strike a blow for “the ould dart” (“the ould sod” or Ireland). . . It is a sad fact that their hopes and the sacrifices they and their families made in that great American conflict hardly feature today in the consciousness of Irish people at home.