James R. Barrett's The Irish Way

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Irish integration to America was a very important part of the immigration history of this nation. James R. Barrett, professor at the University of Illinois, writes The Irish Way: Becoming American in the Multiethnic City, an account of the story of second and third generation Irish immigrants whose experiences in America changed their lives in more ways than they could have imagined. The book primarily focused on the social history through; their shaky relationship with African Americans, politics and “The Machine”, religious opposition from other immigrants, and their strife in the workplace. Thoroughly developed with illustrations and facts, this book provides new insight into the topic of “Americanization” among immigrants coming to our nation.…show more content…
That is exactly what millions of Irish immigrants did when left with no choice but to leave their Irish homelands due to the famine that plagued them from the time of 1845-1852. James R. Barrett describes the struggle and changes the Irish people needed to make when coming to America and their hard attempts to disperse themselves into the multiethnic cities of New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and many more. The integration of the immigrant people rested on the responsibility of the ever present Irish. To the new immigrants it seemed as if the Irish people were everywhere. They were constantly “…encountering Irish policemen, Irish politicians, Irish bureaucrats, Irish saloon keepers, Irish contractors, and Irish teachers…” (pg. 2). They were known to hold the power of the newer immigrants. The Irish, being skilled speakers, instantly rose in the political areas. They ran the integration of other immigrants and held this power simply due to their populous numbers and skilled natively English

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