This compact, well-written, and enjoyable survey of three centuries of Irish American history is a celebration of that experience. Dolan focuses on the themes of politics, religion, labor, and nationalism. He doesn't shy away from depicting the sadder aspects of the saga, including the journeys on death ships of those fleeing the Irish Potato Famine in the s, the blatant hatred expressed against Catholic Irish immigrants, and the brutal struggle in the mines and factories for better working conditions. Still, Dolan paints a portrait of steady and determined advancement.
Although he concentrates on the Catholic Irish population, Dolan also pays tribute to the predominantly Protestant Ulster Irish the so-called Scotch Irish who constituted the bulk of Irish immigration in the eighteenth century. These four are politics, religion, labor and nationalism. Beginning in , when a decline in the linen trade and a poor harvest sparked a rush to America, Dolan traces the exodus to the beckoning colonies, swelling to , Irish in the U.
They s The Irish have been coming to America for a long time. The author, an emeritus professor of history at Notre Dame University, starts out with the forgotten era of Irish emigration to the US--pre There are no discussion topics on this book yet. 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. He does talk briefly about them but he never really discussed the role of their churches on the Irish community.
Millions more arrived after the s potato famine, etched here in a vivid portrait of hunger and death. Over the next century, the American Catholic Church grew in prestige, as did Irish-American political power, confirmed by Al Smith's presidential campaign and capped in by the "razor-thin victory" of JFK.
Closing chapters cover the post-WWII changes in urban Irish neighborhoods, Hollywood's celebration of Catholic culture and the Irish "who rode the economic escalator up to middle-class respectability. His writing is colorful and comprehensive with impeccable scholarship evident throughout. A celebratory history of Irish Americans suitable for libraries that already have more balanced assessments.
Patrick's Day-to its ongoing evolution. 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.
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Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. 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.
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.