© 2016

Masculinity and Power in Irish Nationalism, 1884-1938

  • Awarded the James S. Donnelly Prize for Best Book in History and Social Science at the American Conference for Irish Studies 2017

  • Draws on multi-language archival sources to show the efforts of Irish nationalists to remake themselves

  • Shows how these efforts attempted to counter colonial notions of English superiority and Irish inferiority


Part of the Genders and Sexualities in History book series (GSX)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Aidan Beatty
    Pages 1-19
  3. Aidan Beatty
    Pages 57-90
  4. Aidan Beatty
    Pages 91-119
  5. Aidan Beatty
    Pages 225-233
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 235-266

About this book


This book is a comparative study of masculinity and white racial identity in Irish nationalism and Zionism.  It analyses how both national movements sought to refute widespread anti-Irish or anti-Jewish stereotypes and create more prideful (and highly gendered) images of their respective nations. Drawing on English-, Irish-, and Hebrew-language archival sources, Aidan Beatty traces how male Irish nationalists sought to remake themselves as a proudly Gaelic-speaking race, rooted both in their national past as well as in the spaces and agricultural soil of Ireland.  On the one hand, this was an attempt to refute contemporary British colonial notions that they were somehow a racially inferior or uncomfortably hybridised people. But this is also presented in the light of the general history of European nationalism; nationalist movements across Europe often crafted romanticised images of the nation’s past and Irish nationalism was thus simultaneously European and postcolonial. It is this that makes Irish nationalism similar to Zionism, a movement that sought to create a more idealized image of the Jewish past that would disprove contemporary anti-Semitic stereotypes. 



Zionism Israel Racial identity Gender Twentieth century

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies & School of Canadian Irish StudiesConcordia UniversityMontreal, QCCanada

About the authors

Aidan Beatty is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies and Scholar-in-Residence at the School of Canadian Irish Studies at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Masculinity and Power in Irish Nationalism, 1884-1938
  • Authors Aidan Beatty
  • Series Title Genders and Sexualities in History
  • Series Abbreviated Title Genders and Sexualities in History
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-137-44099-0
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-349-68416-8
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-137-44101-0
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XV, 266
  • Number of Illustrations 7 b/w illustrations, 3 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Modern History
    History of Britain and Ireland
    Gender and Sexuality
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“Aidan Beatty’s insightful and compelling monograph … makes bold strides in addressing the acknowledged lack of investigations into gender and, more specifically, masculinities in modern Irish history. … This is a history that will be of great interest to scholars of gender and sexuality, but it is also a good story well told for those with broader interests in Ireland’s past, particularly during those ever-important decades that defined Ireland’s manly sense of self for the rest of the twentieth century.” (Jane McGaughey, The Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, Vol. 42, 2019)

“This volume will find appreciative readers not only within Irish and Zionist studies, but in fields more broadly concerned with questions of nationalism and gender. For those concerned with the practical value of work on history, this book's publication is all the more important when one considers not only the centenary of the Irish revolutionary period, but more significantly, the rise of sexist nationalism around the globe.” (Charles Clements,, October, 2017)