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A Pint of Plain: Tradition, Change, and the fate of the Irish Pub

Bill Barich.
Publisher Walker  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 8.25 x 5.5 x 0.65 inches
ISBN 9780802710628
Pages/Publication Date 243/2009
Daedalus Item Code 31919
This item is not available.
An American journalist who married an Irishwoman and settled semi-permanently in the Emerald Isle, Bill Barich sends back this in-depth investigative report—one that required much elbow-bending on his part—on the state of one of Ireland's chief cultural exports, the Irish pub. He finds that the tavern offering talk and drink with no distractions subsumed by flat-screen televisions and kitschy décor, suggesting an erosion of something essential to the Irish spirit, perhaps without the Irish even being aware.

"Shhhhhh.... Don't tell, but this is really a book about globalization, not about 'yer only man' (i.e., the well-pulled pint of porter). With 'Oirish' pubs cropping up in every burg and burb, what has happened to the originals? American emigrant Barich starts looking around his new neighborhood in Dublin for the pub of his dreams, where the pints are frothy and the conversation lofty. He finds the locals, both the pubs and their patrons, displaced by glamorous versions of themselves, and he discovers that he has unwittingly become part of a global plot to replace the real with the faux. He finally does find a few remaining magical places (once he gets out of Dublin, which for some readers will not be soon enough), but they are hanging-on-by-the-thumbnails operations in danger of going poof or pouf. Most browsers will pick this up because they want to read about Irish pubs, but they will get much, much more than they expected. An excellent, however sneaky, addition to the literature of globalization."—Booklist

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