The book, “The Irish Way” by James R. Barrett is a masterpiece written to describe the life of Irish immigrants who went to start new lives in America after conditions at home became un-accommodative. Widespread insecurity, callous English colonizers and the ghost of great famine still lingering on and on in their lives, made this ethnic group be convinced that home was longer a home anymore. They descended in United States of America in large numbers. James R. Barrett in his book notes that these people were the first group of immigrants to settle in America. According to him, there were a number of several ethnic groups that have arrived in America. It was, however, the mass exodus of Irish people during and after the great famine that saw the use of the word “immigrant” being used to refer to them. Irish people descended to America fully loaded with their culture and religious beliefs that according to the writer of this book enabled them to assimilate faster into the American society more than any other group. Phrases and words like, Irish-American policemen, Irish-American teachers, Irish –American politicians were coined in social cultural set up of America. This wave shaped the process of assimilating other immigrants that came after them.
The writer classified this group of Irish people according to their characteristics. This group was highly ferocious and exhibited an alacrity and lust of land that originated from the Northern part of Ireland. This group was comprised of individuals who were conservative Christians who loved living in their own cliché of clans. They were also very cruel and intolerant towards Indians. Because of their characteristics, they were referred to as settlers. Their characteristics made them be assimilated faster in America than their constituent compatriots who originated from the southern part of the county. The other group of Irish people that arrived in America was the native Gaelic Irish people who arrived in New York and other eastern coastal cities in the 19th century. This group was rather timid as compared to the other group of Immigrants. Their personal attributes made them subject to many vicious prejudices and stereotypes. This group had to struggle for their way into acceptance and incorporation into the American society.
James Barrett concentrates more on the life of Irish people in states like Chicago and New York. These states had already reorganized themselves in well-established social divisions. Racism was ripe in these states, and this defined the reception of Irish people in those states. The reception was cold especially towards the Gaelic group of the Irish people. Barrette’s focus was on the third generation of Irish American people after they had settled. He has outlined how these people had an upper hand in assimilation by the fact that they were able to speak English. In this book, James Barrett outlines a number of careers that several Irish people professed in despite the...