Transatlantic defiance

The militant Irish republican movement in America, 1923–45

By Gavin Wilk

Transatlantic defiance


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9166-7
  • Pages: 240
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: October 2014
  • BIC Category: Society & social sciences / Terrorism, armed struggle, Politics, Terrorism, armed struggle, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Terrorism


This book examines the militant Irish republican movement in the United States from the final months of the Irish Civil War through to the Second World War. The narrative carefully and creatively intertwines the personalities, events and policies that shaped the activism during this period and shows the evolution of its inherently transnational nature. Through a bottom-up historical analysis that incorporates an examination of more than eighty archival collections in the US, Ireland and Britain, the book presents for the first time an account of the anti-Treaty IRA veterans who arrived in the US after the Irish Civil War. Upon their settlement in Irish-American communities, these republicans directly influenced and guided the US-based militant republican organisation, Clan na Gael, transformed the overall dynamics of militant Irish republicanism in America and provided leadership and co-ordination for an IRA bombing campaign. With the inclusion of these veterans' stories, the book provides a fresh interpretation of the inter-war movement in America that shows it to be far from as stagnant, wayward and detached from Irish affairs as has previously been claimed.


Gavin Wilk is a Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Limerick


1. Introduction: 'Out of Ireland, I never shall be happy'
2. The search for direction, 1923-6
3. Irish departures, American arrivals, 1923-6
4. Transforming the movement, 1927-30
5. Creating a new identity, 1931-5
6. Depression, survival and assistance, 1931-5
7. Guiding a bombing campaign from the United States, 1936-9
8. Restrained action, 1940-5
9. Conclusion

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