Why does Joe Biden often refer to his mother's Irish ancestry but not his father's English roots? Why does being "Irish" in America have such cachet? In this episode, Adam talks to Professors Kevin Kenny of New York University and David Gleeson from Northumbria University to explore the complex history of Irishness in American culture. From the "wild Irish" of the southern backcountry, through to the political fixers of Tammany Hall and the challenges that John F. Kennedy's (Irish) Catholicism caused him, Adam and his guests talk about how a community that was once so reviled came to embody key aspects of what it means to be an American. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.