Editorial Review

A noteworthy review of Our Cultural Heritage from Children's Literature on November 1, 2002

In the 1840s Ireland’s people were beset with a grave calamity. A potato blight broke out that destroyed the staple crop of the land. As a result of this agricultural disaster and faulty famine relief efforts on the part of the authorities, millions of Irish people either starved to death or chose to leave their beloved homeland. Over a few years more than 1.5 million Irish citizens sailed across the Atlantic to establish a new life in the United States. Initially, the Irish immigrants were met with scorn. Signs reading ‘No Irish Need Apply’ decorated shop windows and discouraged potential workers. Over time, the Irish immigrants became Irish-Americans and established themselves as a vibrant portion of the national fabric. The fascinating, and sometimes tragic, story of Irish immigration to the United States is well told in this volume in the ‘Our Cultural Heritage’ series. Author Sarah E. De Capua combines a strong narrative with many photographs and other illustrations to produce a fine introduction to an important subject. Irish-Americans continue to be justly proud of their heritage. This excellent and concise study serves as a first rate introduction to the topic of how and why the Irish came to America.

—Greg M. Romaneck

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