Dr. Myles Dungan has been a long-standing advocate for developing a greater understanding in Ireland of our links to the American Civil War. The Irish relationship with the United States is one he has explored on several occasions in his books, such as Distant Drums: Irish Soldiers in Foreign Armies and How the Irish Won the West. He was also responsible for Ireland’s first ever dedicated day of lectures on the Irish experience of the American Civil War, which took place at the Hay Festival in Kells, Co. Meath, last year. Those in Ireland will be familiar with Myles’s outstanding contribution to public engagement with history through his long running RTE Radio One broadcast The History Show, which has examined themes relating to the Irish and the American Civil War on numerous occasions. Over the last two weeks in Ireland, Myles broadcast two special episodes of The History Show, focusing entirely on the Irish experience of the American Civil War and how Irish music influenced the tunes and songs of the time. I was honoured to be among the contributors to the programmes, which also included Professor David Gleeson of Northumbria University, Catherine Bateson of the University of Edinburgh, Professor Glen Gendzel of San Jose State University, Professor David Henkin of University of California Berkeley, Professor Mick Moloney of New York University, Derek Warfield and Jarlath MacNamara.
Both episodes of the programme are now available as podcasts and are free to access. If you are interested in catching either or both of the documentaries you can do so by clicking on the links below and pressing ‘Listen.’