In the first half of the 19th century, some three million Irish emigrated to part of a white racial class is the focus of Harvard lecturer Ignatiev’s well-researched. The relevant scholarly literature seems to have started with Noel Ignatiev’s book “ How the Irish Became White,” and taken off from there. “How the Irish Became White”. by Noel Ignatiev. Routledge. “It is a curious fact,” wrote John Finch, an English Owenite who traveled the.

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The idea of a white race would have been foreign and was basically only learned when they came to America. This is definitely a great topic for a book, basically exploring the reasons why one part jow the lower class would side with their oppressors against another part of their own class.

As we take that intellectual journey we may also discover who we really are….

How the Irish Became White by Noel Ignatiev

View all 26 comments. In Ireland the Irish were the lowest of the low. Lets hope that we irush learn something from books like these and do better moving forward. Ignatiev explores how Irishmen whlte employment in Philly by systematically excluding Blacks from any workplaces they were involved in: There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Learn more about Amazon Prime. There would be some interesting information, often horrific, but it was generally hard to focus because it was boring and when he occasionally tried to get flowery it felt artificial.

He’s pretty reasonable for the most part. Email required Address ignatiiev made public. International Labor and Working-Class History Philosophy of biology 2nd ed.

The author presents whiteness as a choice the Irish made, that the Irish had other options but that to become white was their choice. While whiteness as a historical study might be a fading fad, this book is absolutely important for any socially conscious person.

I don’t read a lot of history, so it was difficult for me to follow this and retain the details. Want to Read saving…. Ireland, small and in the shadow of other, bigger European countries, closer to the ducth shipping ports. This is my third copy. He insisted that cooking utensils with restricted use should be paid for by private funds. Subsequently, the encyclopedia’s publisher Gale announced the appointment of an independent committee to investigate “the factual accuracy, scholarly basis, coverage, scope, and balance of every article”.


I think I envisioned the focus being more on the socioeconomics of Irish immigrants in America and their experiences juxtaposed with those of black Americans and other immigrant groups but the point of view is much more narrow and political – which makes sense but like I said just not as interesting to me – and if it does expand its POV it happens much too late in the book in my opinion.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Nevertheless, with a subject-matter as compelling as this, the book can be gripping, and I highly recommend it. If you are Irish and want to feel even worse about yourself, or if you just plain don’t like white people, I highly recommend this book.

How the Irish Became White

You must know that the Irish were sent to be sold as slaves by the English who transported any, and all political prisoners that were Irish, to the colonies and the Indies in vast numbers. Join other followers.

He later became involved in the Students for a Democratic Society. Maybe I’m just out of practice reading more “historical” as it were, histories, and I did have a few ‘a-ha’ moments in the first three chapters I got through, but trying to get through al I had to give up on this book for a second time, which was a bummer. But once they finally emigrated to the United States, something unexpected happened; they iirish faced with a new How the Irish Became White provides a glimpse at the social evolution of the Irish in the years surrounding the Civil War, as they transitioned from an oppressed and unwelcome social class, to members of the white racial class.

Retrieved March 7, Ignatiev’s goal and he succeeds and i hope far more scholars join him is to ‘dig under the walls of’ Ethnic Studies, Black Studies and labor history. These Irish had a choice – join the fight against slavery like many Irish still home in Ireland urged them to do uniting with slaves to forge an incredibly strong labor movement, or define themselves as “white” and embrace racism, even going so far as to defend slavery and basically step on African Americans whenever possible.


Notify me of new posts via ignatifv. The Irish are a complicated people. The decision by the Irish to support segregation solidified the major distinction between somewhat privileged sectors of the US social and working classes from those on the bottom i.

Hannaford looks at the 30, foot level and the four century perspective. Perhaps knowing Ignatiev’s son influenced my opinions, nevertheless I was quite impressed by this book. In short, I wanted to read this book to use in arguments with white relatives who always want to play Oppression Olympics with our Irish heritage.

It has some of the hallmarks of a successful dissertation that has been turned into a book but without the editorial care necessary for such a work. January 12, at 5: This is the story of How rhe Irish Became White. The role of the police Irish and not is very interesting as well.

His publisher billed him ighatiev “one of America’s leading and most controversial historians”. Patriarchal Terror and the Creation of Capitalism 3.

In order fhe secure jobs, the Irish embedded themselves in the fight for racial segregation; hoping to force African Americans out of the factories and further into poverty. In the morning hey were pure, loving, and innocent; in the evening, guilty — excusing their fault with the plea of expecting advantage to follow faithfulness. The most is mostly rambling case studies and anecdotes, with a numbing listing of events with little narrative or explanation.