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Searching for the Promised Land: An Irishman's American Odyssey, by Ed Deevy

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Searching for the Promised Land: An Irishman's American Odyssey, by Ed Deevy

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A remarkable story of one Irishman’s experiences of the Promised Land of America


As a newly minted Catholic priest from rural County Laois, Edward Deevy arrived in the American Deep South in 1962, at the height of the Civil Rights movement. To his dismay, he discovered a church doing little in the fight for equality.

After leaving the priesthood in 1969 Deevy threw himself into the struggle. Before long he was campaigning in Washington DC for the release of an unjustly imprisoned black colleague, and publicly confronting ‘America’s pastor’, Rev Billy Graham. After four turbulent years in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Deevy moved to Massachusetts and on to careers in mental health advocacy, academia and organizational psychology.

Deevy’s public career was punctuated by private sorrow, particularly the death of a brother who took his own life. That shattering event caused Deevy to question his own beliefs and everything about his family’s past. As he struggled for understanding, he came to see that his family’s story had elements common to many others in twentieth century Ireland – particularly the influence of a patriarch and the deep hold of faith and fatherland.

At 70, Edward Deevy retired to Ireland. His story – Searching for the Promised Land – is of two societies in transition. It sheds light on Ireland’s recent past and evokes a time that is long gone. It also offers a fascinating glimpse into a tumultuous period in American history. Most of all, it is a deeply personal and moving account of a man making sense of his life as he journeys towards his final destination.

About the Author

Dr Edward Deevy was born in County Laois in 1938. From 1962 to 2008 he lived in the United States, initially working as a priest in Louisiana. After leaving the priesthood in 1969 he became a community worker and social activist, and later an organizational psychologist. He has written two previous books, Creating the Resilient Organization (1995) and How to Survive the Great Recession (2009). He lives in Portlaoise. Author’s earnings from the sale of this book will be donated to the support and advocacy group Laois Friends of the Intellectually Disabled.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Author Deevy, Dr Ed
Editor No
Print Format Paperback
ISBN-10 No
ISBN-13 9781908308788
Illustrations 25 colour photographs
Date of Publication September 29, 2015
Number of Pages 280

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