Since I've been doing a little research on my family history this historical account of Irish Americans appealed to me. Never mind that I don't come from an Irish family (adopted or birth family), but I've been curious about how people during these times decide to cross an ocean to live in a strange place. And, I'm always just curious about the past. What was life like?
I was a little confused when the author explains that the Protestant Irish in America were referred to as Scotch-Irish only to lose that title and then (after what appears to be a period of time when the term wasn't used) the Catholic Irish took on that name. So, apparently, if you hear the term 'Scotch-Irish' you also need to know what year it was to determine what population of Irish it is referring to. Who the heck came up with that?
I have to admit that I had a cold strong enough to make my head fuzzy for about 2 weeks while I read this book. This made reading slow going... and might have led to me not really retaining what I read during that time. Perhaps I have the whole thing about the Scotch-Irish mixed up. Regardless, I found it an interesting read that gave me a clearer idea of how the Irish impacted the American landscape. And I also might have found myself from time to time reading this book with an Irish accent in my head (and no, I wasn't on any cold medication at the time). It just couldn't be helped.
Overall, this book reads a little bit like an interesting text book. It seems to repeat itself a few times unnecessarily, but that was easy to overlook as a slight annoyance. I really did walk away learning so much more about the Irish and America's history in general. And I have a new-found respect for the struggles our ancestors (Irish or other) fought against to find a better life.
Books read since the beginning of 2012: 18