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Prof Bernadette Whelan awarded the Lawrence J McCaffrey Prize for Books on Irish America, 2022

Mon, 09 May 2022

Congratulations to retired Prof Bernadette Whelan (History) who was awarded the Lawrence J McCaffrey Prize for Books on Irish America, 2022. It was awarded for her monograph De Valera and Roosevelt: Irish and American Diplomacy in Times of Crisis, 1932–1939 (Cambridge University Press). De Valera and Roosevelt are used as a fulcrum to consider a vast spectrum of characters who were involved in developing the ‘special relationship’ between Ireland and the US during the 1930s, including diplomats, their families, politicians, members of the US postal service, IRA members, illegal gamblers… the list goes on. To tell this extraordinary story, the study is grounded in, but not overburdened by, primary research (letters, memoir, foreign policy materials) drawn from Ireland, the US, the UK, and Switzerland. The emphasis on twentieth-century Ireland and the US enables Whelan to home in on the shifting power dynamics of the two countries in the tense years before World War Two, and necessarily pivots around the position of Britain – a triangulation that offers fresh perspectives, resisting often laboured mythologies of Irish America.