Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
McCaffrey, a professor of history at Loyola University of Chicago, amply documents his thesis that American urban ethnic history begins with the arrival of large numbers of Irish Catholic immigrants in the 1820s. Their descendants have contributed significantly to politics, sports and entertainment, but McCaffrey argues that Irish-Americans' material success, which took them as a group from the ghetto to middle-class prosperity, has caused a fading of Irish identity. Contemporary Irish-Americans' tendency to assimilate, their relaxed attitude toward Church authority and their under-appreciation of their cultural heritage, he contends, ``reduces the brilliance and threatens the permanence of the ethnic mosaic that has made the United States the most interesting and energetic country in the world.'' Many such challenging judgments fill this comprehensive and entertaining popular history. Illustrated. ( Aug. ) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
McCaffrey (history, Loyola Univ. of Chicago) presents an overview of the Irish immigrant experience in America, arguing that its texture was woven from three basic threads. One was ``an aggressive and combative Catholicism'' that reacted with American nativism to create a cohesive Irish-American community. Politics gave the immigrants an opportunity to gain access to power and jobs, especially at the municipal level. The third thread was Irish nationalism, which permitted them to express their rage, frustration, and--eventually--their respectability and the comfort of being Irish. This well-written book reveals the richness of the interaction between rural immigrants and urban environments. Recommended for general readers as well as academic libraries.-- Charles Abshire, Mt. Hood Community Coll. Lib., Gresham, Ore. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.