See 1 question about The Irish Americans…. Lists with This Book. Jan 05, Bill Kerwin rated it liked it Shelves: A well-written survey of the trends and personalities in Irish-American history, with particular emphasis on politics mostly Irish Nationalist and American city local , the labor and unions, and the Catholic Church. Mar 16, Cheryl Gatling added it.
This book partially answers that question with its last chapter, "It's Chic to be Irish. It was not always so, that it was chic to be Irish. The Irish were once despised as drunken, belligerent brutes, and feared as dangerous, suspicious Papists. But it was always true that the Irish clung to their national identity. From the time the Irish began to come to this country, which began in the 18th century, there were Hibernian societies, Irish newspapers keeping people informed about political events in the old country, and St Patrick's Day parades.
Letters to family members back home kept the bonds alive. Irish nationalist groups raised money in the states, and Irish militant leaders made tours of the US to spread awareness of their cause. After the famine, prejudice and poverty caused Irish immigrants to cling together in ethnic enclaves. Irish neighborhoods continued into the s, as Irish Americans clustered around their parish church. The church itself provided a shared culture, with Catholic schools and social societies. There is much else in this book. Irish politicians are particularly numerous, culminating in the peak of Irish success, John F Kennedy.
As a people they went from the bottom of the heap to the top, so they celebrate. Jul 28, Joshua rated it really liked it.
The Irish Americans: A History
This book is one that will resonate with so many Americans. Like most Americans I am something of a "Heinz 59" and Irish is definitely in the mix. I think a lot of people can identify with that. Having Irish in one's background is something to be proud of and when you read Dolan's book you will understand why. The immigrants from Ireland have not had an easy ride in American history.
About The Irish Americans
In fact, they have not an easy ride before migration to North America. The deprivations faced by this people grou This book is one that will resonate with so many Americans. The deprivations faced by this people group required a lot of intestinal fortitude. When the challenge arose the Irish were able to overcome the odds and etch out a place in our nation's story. Jay Dolan brings the social history of the Irish in America to life. Here are a few of the positive and negative aspect to his book. Dolan put a lot of time and effort into this work.
He packs every page with excellent information and some of the anecdotes are nice additions to the main story-line. I am a historian and there was a lot of things he filled in about Irish history that I was unaware of. He really put the migration of the Irish to America in a good context.
After the Irish arrived they had to work jobs that were less than desirable because that's all they could get. They proved to be industrious and willing to do what needed to be done. This tough, hard-working, ambitious nature made the Irish valuable to our history. They came here with the express purpose of succeeding and so often they did.
The Irish, although white, had to deal with racism in the United Kingdom and here as well. Of course, the Irish had their own racist sentiments to deal with as well. The relationship between the Irish and the African American community demonstrates that even victims can become perpetrators. As they integrated in American life they became more accepted, yet integration did not mean extinction for their culture and identity.
His explanation of Irish culture highlights how extremely loyal they are to their families and communities. When placed inside the political setting it proved to be interesting although often corrupt. Nepotism, patronage and downright bribery were some of the factors that ran the machine. I remember reading about Tammany Hall and also about the Daley machine in Chicago in one of my political science classes. He talks about the corruption of these two in this book. He is fair however, and focuses on some positive political forces as well.
There were many in the Irish political machinery that wanted to reform and clean up some of the corruption. I was especially interested in the things he had to say about President Kennedy's grandfather John Fitzgerald as they shed light on President Kennedy as well. His assessment of the importance of the Catholic church in the Irish community was very enlightening although I knew some about it already. The church often helped reform while at other times it exercised domination over the life of the community.
I thought that he was unbiased in his representation of the Catholic church neither shying away from criticism or pandering to it. Not only would this book be beneficial to a religious group but the book would also be helpful in the study of labor movements. The Irish don't mind standing up for their rights and at the heart of these reforms in labor stand the Irish pushing and pulling the cart of progress forward.
The few negative things I have to say are slightly petty. Parts of the book were boring. The chapters were long and sometimes hard to get through. I like to read a chapter a day, and I would rather have 25 shorter chapters than 13 really long ones, but that is just a personal preference.
The Irish Americans: A History: Jay P. Dolan: Bloomsbury Press
I wish he would have interacted with more primary source documents and it would have been nice if he had included pictures. I realize why he didn't in that it is a big printing cost. Nevertheless, it would have added a nice dimension to the book. I wish he would have spent more time talking about the Scotch Irish.
He does talk briefly about them but he never really discussed the role of their churches on the Irish community. I also wished he would have spent more time talking about rural Irish communities like the one that Andrew Jackson was born in. He can be repetitive at times and his organization is little hard to follow. I think however, that it is possible that this is just a personal issue. He is linear but he jumps around sometimes and that makes it harder for me to follow. Despite these minor issues I can say this would be a great addition to your library.
If you are a teacher, a history buff or just an Irish American looking to learn more than this book is excellent. The language of the book is accessible and there is a wealth of information that you can mine here. It is a great starting place for your study but it is not restricted to just "starters.
He says that when most people are asked about their ethnicity it is Irish that they will usually claim. I think it is because the people are scrapers and they often strive hard to get ahead in life. There is a passionate nature in Ireland that I think that resonates with many people. Plus, in a way the Irish are the classic underdog.
When they come to America they are often not wanted and their religion frightens many Anglo-Americans. However, a little over a century later they have one of their own in the White House. They are a people with faults but they have made a unique impression on American life. I borrowed this book from a family member.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars. It is a very readable history of the Irish in the US. The author, an emeritus professor of history at Notre Dame University, starts out with the forgotten era of Irish emigration to the US--pre During this period, there was no differentiation between Protestant and Catholic Irish. After the famine migration started, the Protestant Irish began to call themselves "Scotch Irish" a term still used today in the US, but not I borrowed this book from a family member. After the famine migration started, the Protestant Irish began to call themselves "Scotch Irish" a term still used today in the US, but not in Ireland, where the preferred term is Ulster Irish.
In subsequent chapters, he explores Irish contributions in three main areas--the Catholic Church, politics and labor. The Irish came to dominate the church and labor across the US, and politics in many big cities along the East coast of the US. The final chapter shows that Irish American support for the peace process in Northern Ireland was crucial, both financially and politically. If necessary, one could use this wonderfully comprehensive, yet compellingly narrated book as a resource material.
The index is great. But I am really interested in the topic, and so I read it clean through. The history of the Irish as immigrants; the manner in which we wove ourselves into North American history and not all of it is attractive ; and the influence we've had on the country of our origin is well told. Knowing that years ago my people were dead of old age by the time they were t If necessary, one could use this wonderfully comprehensive, yet compellingly narrated book as a resource material. Knowing that years ago my people were dead of old age by the time they were the age I am now, I feel less like complaining of the little aches and pains that visit us as a consequence of having cheated the grim reaper!
The Irish Exodus to America. The Graves Are Walking: The Story of Irish Immigration to America. Paddy's Lament, Ireland Product details Paperback Publisher: Bloomsbury Press; 1 edition Language: Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention america american dolan ireland catholic immigrants politics interested jay learned facts learn united ethnic kennedy early areas states dry john.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Audible Audiobook Verified Purchase. I'm listening to the Audible edition of this book, and I keep thinking that it's being read by a computer-generated voice. The narrator seems to have a native generic American accent and attempts English and Irish accents when quoting characters of those nationalities. That aspect is less distracting than it could be.
However, the narrator I hesitate to use the pronoun "he" because I suspect the narrator is an "it" mispronounces words at an alarming rate. I am hardly an expert on Irish pronunciation, but I know that the town Cobh is pronounced "cove" and not "cahv. The actual content is interesting, but I have two issues: As others have mentioned, the information is often redundant, as though each chapter is meant to be read independently.
The author shows bias in several places. I was startled to hear toward the beginning of the book that Irish emigrated to Barbados in the s, seemingly by choice, even on a whim. The author implies no sense of the forced deportation of Irish by Cromwell and his forces. Yet later in the book, the author seems to glow with Irish nationalism and distaste for the English.
Perhaps he is going for a sense of balance, but to me it comes off as simply two extremes of opinion.
I will finish the book, mostly to find areas of history and culture I will want to research further. However, I will not use this book as a reliable source of factual information. One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. This book is one that will resonate with so many Americans. Like most Americans I am something of a "Heinz 59" and Irish is definitely in the mix. I think a lot of people can identify with that. Having Irish in one's background is something to be proud of and when you read Dolan's book you will understand why. The immigrants from Ireland have not had an easy ride in American history.
In fact, they have not an easy ride before migration to North America. The deprivations faced by this people group required a lot of intestinal fortitude. When the challenge arose the Irish were able to overcome the odds and etch out a place in our nation's story. Jay Dolan brings the social history of the Irish in America to life. Here are a few of the positive and negative aspect to his book. Dolan put a lot of time and effort into this work. He packs every page with excellent information and some of the anecdotes are nice additions to the main story-line.
I am a historian and there was a lot of things he filled in about Irish history that I was unaware of. He really put the migration of the Irish to America in a good context. After the Irish arrived they had to work jobs that were less than desirable because that's all they could get. They proved to be industrious and willing to do what needed to be done. This tough, hard-working, ambitious nature made the Irish valuable to our history. They came here with the express purpose of succeeding and so often they did.
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The author addresses contemporary Irish American identity in his final chapter, "It's Chic To Be Irish," where he contends that even people with dual or more heritages emphasize their Irish identity because positive "Irish" traits like gregariousness, wit, and charm enable them to identify vicariously with the underdog and still claim the Irish success story. Baird, Chicago c Copyright Tackling a large and complex story, he manages to retain readability amid solid scholarship.
He clearly establishes the significance of the Church in the history of Irish Americans. In addition to its role, the author explores two other central themes: Dolan begins his story in Ireland, detailing how conditions went beyond harsh to intolerable. Driven out of their homeland by starvation; an antiquated system of land ownership; and cruel, misguided British politics, thousands of Irish immigrated to the United States in the latter half of the 19th century. For most, their lot improved, but only slightly. The next generation, however, fared better, and, by the midth century, was not so much poor Irish as middle-class American.
By the end of the century, it even became "chic to be Irish. Thank you for using the catalog. Follows the Irish from their first arrival in the American colonies through the bleak days of the potato famine, the decades of ethnic prejudice and nativist discrimination, the rise of Irish political power, and on to the historic moment when John F.
Kennedy was elected to this highest office in the land. The forgotten era, -- The famine generation and beyond, -- Becoming American, -- Irish and American,