Every year, all over the world, millions of Irish people, both native and by descent, together with their n-Irish friends, celebrate the life of a man who died over 1500 years ago. St Patrick's Day is a boisterous festival of parading and revelry, dancing and drinking, emblazoned with shamrocks and harps, and all in emerald green. The fascinating story of how the celebration of 17 March was transformed from a stuffy dinner for Ireland's elite to one of the world's most public festivals is captured for the first time in The Wearing of the Green: A History of St Patrick's Day. Long celebrated with more fanfare in New York than in Dublin, the holiday has been criticized for its loss of religious meaning, ever-increasing commercialism and embarrassing displays of drunkenness. More recently, it has become a flashpoint between political divides within the Irish community. At the same time, however, it has served to unite Irish emigrants worldwide, whether they be in America, Australia or Canada. The Wearing of the Green: A History of St Patrick's Day explores the medieval story of St Patrick, the first parades, the merchandising explosion (including green bagels and Guinness floats) and the evolution of the four-day St Patrick's Day Festival in Dublin. This unique study offers a bird's-eye view of the proceedings for all those who don 'Kiss me, I'm Irish' buttons with pride as well as their Part-Time Paddy friends.
Mike Cronin graduated with a Ph.D. in history from Oxford University in 1994. He is currently Accademic Director for Centre of Irish Programmes at Boston College, Dublin. Cronin has a particular interest in the study of twentieth-century Irish history, as well as the politics of sport in Irish history. He is author of The Blueshirts and Irish Politics (1997), Sport and Nationalism in Ireland (1999) and A History of Ireland (2001). Daryl Adair graduated with a Ph.D. in history from the Flinders University of South Australia in 1995. He is currently Lecturer in Sports Humanities in the Centre for Sports Studies, University of Canberra, Australia. Adair has a background in Australian history, with a keen interest in public spectacles. He is author of Sport in Australian History (1997, with Wray Vamplew), and editor of Sport Tourism (2002, with Brent Ritchie).