Irish on the Inside: In Search of the Soul of Irish America / Edition 1by Tom Hayden
Pub. Date: 05/19/2003
Publisher: Verso Books
Tom Hayden first realized he was ‘Irish on the inside’ when he heard civil rights marchers in Northern Ireland singing ‘We Shall Overcome’ in 1969. Though his great-grandparents had been forced to emigrate to the US in the 1850s, Hayden’s parents erased his Irish heritage in the quest for respectability. In this passionate book he
Tom Hayden first realized he was ‘Irish on the inside’ when he heard civil rights marchers in Northern Ireland singing ‘We Shall Overcome’ in 1969. Though his great-grandparents had been forced to emigrate to the US in the 1850s, Hayden’s parents erased his Irish heritage in the quest for respectability. In this passionate book he explores the losses wrought by such conformism. Assimilation, he argues, has led to high rates of schizophrenia, depression, alcoholism and domestic violence within the Irish community.
Today’s Irish-Americans, Hayden contends, need to re-inhabit their history, to recognize that assimilation need not entail submission. By recognizing their links to others now experiencing the prejudice once directed at their ancestors, they can develop a sense of themselves that is both specific and inclusive: ‘The survival of a distinct Irish soul is proof enough that Anglo culture will never fully satisfy our needs. We have a unique role in reshaping American society to empathize with the world’s poor, for their story is the genuine story of the Irish.’
- Verso Books
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 5.30(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.00(d)
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We picked this book up in the bookstore on a bit of a whim and, upon opening it,I found myself absolutely rivited to it. THANK YOU TOM HAYDEN!!!!!! Thanks for telling me so much that I did not know about a subject on which I had that thought I knew more than, in fact, I did. Although he describes the journey of discovery of his own Irishness and heritage, I think that most Irish Americans will find great resonance in their own families and lives. I have visited the Republic of Ireland only once and I definitely want to go back and spend much more time there. The next trip will include the North-- which, prior to reading this book, I might have shied away from because of the violent reputation . Tom Hayden shines a light on the real history of colonialism in Ireland. In the light of American colonial history and rebellion, the history of the Irish people in rebellion should not be so difficult for Americans to understand. Learning the truth and fiction of this history is more important than ever as America continues the Imperialist traditions of England and other European countries in this new century. I ABSOLUTELY highly recommend this book to anyone with a drop of Irish blood or a love of the Irish soul.