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Ireland, Migration and Return MigrationThe "Returned Yank" in the Cultural Imagination, 1952 to present$
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Sinéad Moynihan

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941800

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941800.001.0001

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‘The Meanest Form of Animal’? The Returned Yank in the Cultural Imagination

‘The Meanest Form of Animal’? The Returned Yank in the Cultural Imagination

(p.1) Introduction ‘The Meanest Form of Animal’? The Returned Yank in the Cultural Imagination
Ireland, Migration and Return Migration

Sinéad Moynihan

Liverpool University Press

The introduction maps out the key assertion of the book: that the Returned Yank surfaces repeatedly and most memorably when questions regarding ‘tradition’ and ‘modernity’ are particularly vexed. Emphasising the rhetorical significance of the figure of the returned migrant in debates about Irish economic recovery since 2008, the introduction surveys both the creative landscape inhabited by the Returned Yank since the late nineteenth century. Acknowledging that cultural representations of the figure long predate the stated parameters of the book (1952 to present), the introduction goes on to demonstrate to extent to which a series of socio-political, demographic, scholarly, cultural, business-oriented and touristic interests and efforts collided and intersected in Ireland of the 1950s, ensuring that the issues of migration and return – and, most especially, the figure of the Returned Yank – became imprinted on the public consciousness in ways not previously witnessed.

Keywords:   Returned Yank, return migration, modernity, Angela’s Ashes, The Quiet Man, An Tóstal, Rose of Tralee

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