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Under the Starry Flag

Under the Starry Flag

How a Band of Irish Americans Joined the Fenian Revolt and Sparked a Crisis over Citizenship

Lucy E. Salyer

ISBN 9780674251441

Publication date: 03/09/2021

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Winner of the Myrna F. Bernath Book Award

“A stunning accomplishment…As the Trump administration works to expatriate naturalized U.S. citizens, understanding the history of individual rights and state power at the heart of Under the Starry Flag could not be more important.”
Passport

“A brilliant piece of historical writing as well as a real page-turner. Salyer seamlessly integrates analysis of big, complicated historical questions—allegiance, naturalization, citizenship, politics, diplomacy, race, and gender—into a gripping narrative.”
—Kevin Kenny, author of The American Irish

In 1867 forty Irish American freedom fighters, outfitted with guns and ammunition, sailed to Ireland to join the effort to end British rule. They were arrested for treason as soon as they landed. The Fenians, as they were called, claimed to be American citizens, but British authorities insisted that they remained British subjects. Following the Civil War, the Fenian crisis dramatized the question of whether citizenship should be considered an inalienable right.

This gripping legal saga, a prelude to today’s immigration battles, raises important questions about immigration, citizenship, and who deserves to be protected by the law.

Praise

  • A stunning accomplishment…As the Trump administration works to expatriate naturalized U.S. citizens, understanding the history of individual rights and state power at the heart of Under the Starry Flag could not be more important…Salyer’s work on expatriation recalls a different time, when the U.S. government worked hard to protect and reinforce the rights of immigrants in the United States and those that became U.S. citizens.

    —Torrie Hester, Passport

Awards

  • 2020, Winner of the Myrna F. Bernath Book Award

Author

  • Lucy E. Salyer is Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire and author of Laws Harsh as Tigers: Chinese Immigrants and the Shaping of Modern Immigration Law, which won the Theodore Saloutos Book Award for the best book on immigration history. A former Constance E. Smith Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Salyer has received the Arthur K. Whitcomb Professorship for teaching excellence, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies.

Book Details

  • 328 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Belknap Press

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