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Book Review. Irish American a History

By:   •  October 22, 2016  •  Book/Movie Report  •  1,105 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,289 Views

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        In this paper I will identify three claims and evidence the author uses to support his claims. Once finding the authors’ claims and evidence I will decide if the author had empirical evidence to support his claim.  

Jay P. Dolan, the author of The Irish Americans a History, illustrates and outline the history and experience Irish Americans had in the United States.  Dolan goes in to detail about the arrival of the Irish immigrants, though the difficult times of the great famine, the impact John F. Kennedy presidency had on Irish immigrants, and why it’s a good thing to be an Irish American in the modern days.

        Jay Dolan asserts that Irish Americans are industrious Individuals, especially male Irishmen. Dolan explains the reason why Irish Americans are looked at diligent and hardworking racial group and it goes back years ago to the great potato famine.

        The main crop in Ireland was potatoes. The crop failures were caused by a disease known as a blight. Dolan points out that majority of the Irish demographic were mostly farmers. Once the famine occur, it caused an enormous hurt in the Irish economy. The Irish population was population increased to eight million which is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe (Dolan Pg.68). With starvation occurring and failing economy, Irish individuals and families began to migrate to eastern America states like New Work and New Jersey. Those whom migrated to America received work and provide diligent work to provide a leaving and to not go back to Ireland since only poverty and starvation was waiting.

        With the claim the author made and the evidence he layouts to support his claim, there is no empirical evidence to support Dolan’s claim. In the book all Dolan does is states facts from the sources he received his information from.  Dolan gave no statistical information or research that helps supports his claim. This is why it is difficult to agree with Nolan that Irish Americans are seen as a sedulous racial group. If Nolan would had for example gave statistical value of Irishmen in the workforce and the duration they had stayed in the workforce will be an excellent example of empirical evidence to support his claim.

        Jay P. Dolan then asserts the Presidency of John F. Kennedy was an important presidency for Irish immigrants. Dolan made his assertion because the Presidency of John F. Kennedy signal the end of anti-Irish and Anti-Catholic nativism. Anti-Irish and Anti-Catholic is a form of oppression, racism, prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination against the Irish immigrants and Catholic religion.

        Dolan evidences points out with some facts and sources that America disliked Irish immigrants due to factors such as the Irish being uneducated, poor, and unskilled workers. He even explains Irish immigrants took jobs away from American citizens. Irish immigrants were also catholic dominance. The United States was mostly a protestant land which caused conflict between the two religion groups.  The Irish for a while dominated the Democratic Party and dominated major political American cities such as New York, Chicago, and Boston. John F. Kennedy is stated in the book to be an Irish American. With the heritage of John F. Kennedy being Irish, won him votes of the Irish community and catholic religion.

        For Dolan’s second claim, he had no empirical evidence for his claims. Again, all Dolan outlines for his evidence are sources and Facts. There are no research or studies that showed how dramatically Irish immigrants and Irish Americans help the presidency of John. F Kennedys’ presidency. What will be great evidence is to show votes of Irish immigrants and Irish Americans who voted in the presidency. Numbers showing the religious groups of protestant and catholic voting to show the impact of the presidency will be beneficial for Dolans claim. These finding will best show how much impact the Irish had with John. F Kennedy and his winning of the presidential election.


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