October 1, 1998
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v2.1 Reference

Dublin's American Policy

Irish-America Diplomatic Relations, 1945-1952

As the Second World War came to an end in 1945, few countries had less in common-in terms of geopolitical power-than Ireland and the United States. In this informative narrative history, Troy D. Davis examines the diplomatic relationship between the two nations during the seven years immediately following the war. He assesses the effect of that relationship on the subsequent history of Ireland and emphasizes the impact of Ireland's early Cold War policies on partition-the most intractable of twentieth-century Irish problems.

Benefiting from extensive archival research in Ireland, the United States, and Great Britain, the book provides a behind-the-scenes look at such topics as Ireland's unsuccessful application for U.N. membership in 1946; Irish participation in the Marshall Plan; and Ireland's 1949 decision not to join NATO.

Davis reveals that, in its formulation of diplomatic policy, the Irish government was hamstrung by domestic political considerations. Most notably, during the 1948 to 1951 period, electoral pressures moved the Irish coalition ministry to follow a policy of virulent but ultimately counterproductive anti-partitionism. The Irish government pursued the chimerical goal of convincing the United States to pressure the British into uniting Ireland, regardless of the wishes of the Northern majority. Davis argues that, given the importance of the United States' alliance with Great Britain, this Irish plan was extremely unrealistic. Consequently, it failed to advance Irish national interests and served instead to further entrench the border between North and South.

The book will serve as a useful guide to those seeking a better understanding of the contemporary controversy over Irish partition. Students of twentieth-century Irish history, American diplomatic history, and Cold War history will also find this book of particular interest.


Troy D. Davis is director of the Academic Assistance Center and teaches in the history department at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas.


"An engaging and insightful account of Irish-American relations during the early years of the Cold War. Written with clarity and supported by well-documented research, is an original and valuable contribution to our imperfect understanding of postwar Ireland."—New Hibernia Review

"This volume covers seven years of great importance in Irish-American relations . . . and provides a very strong and original account of U.S. policy toward Ireland's abortive effort to join the United Nations. . . . It is a compelling read and a valuable contribution to the growing body of literature on Irish diplomatic history."—American Historical Review

"A useful corrective to the prevailing tendency of Irish scholars working in the area of US-Irish diplomatic relations to treat of them within a pro-British versus pro-Irish' paradigm. . . . The study is well and intelligently written and Davis's fair-minded interpretation of both Irish and American diplomacy will stand as a benchmark for all future studies in this area."—Irish Historical Studies

"This book does several things that no other book does. Though bits of the 'story' are told in a variety of other works, this volume pulls everything together, and does not sacrifice detail in the process. I think it is easily the strongest book in the field . . . the book that historians will favor."—Prof. Francis M. Carroll, University of Manitoba

The Catholic University of America Press

9780813209074 : dublins-american-policy-davis
$65.00 USD

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