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The full history of St. Patrick's day is captured here for the first time in The Wearing of the Green. Illustrated with photos, the book spans the medieval origins, steeped in folklore and myth, through its turbulent and troubled times when it acted as fuel for fierce political argument, and tells the fascinating story of how the celebration of 17th March was transformed from a stuffy dinner for Ireland's elite to one of the world's most public festivals. Looking at more general Irish traditions and Irish communities throughout the world, Mike Cronin and Daryl Adair follow the history of this widely celebrated event, examining how the day has been exploited both politically and commercially, and they explore the shared heritage of the Irish through the development of this unique patriotic holiday. Highly informative for students of history, cultural studies and sociology, and an absolute delight for anyone interested in the fascinating and unique culture of Ireland.