1. Coffey, Michael, ed. The Irish in America. Hyperion, New York: 1997.
This is a book written to accompany a PBS documentary that first aired in 1998. It describes the many contributions that Irish Americans have made to American society. This is useful because the author uses many quotes and essays written by both famous and not so famous Irish Americans.
2. Laxton, Edward. The Famine Ships: The Irish Exodus to America. Henry Holt and Company, New York: 1998.
This is a source that describes the experiences of Irish immigrants coming to America on overcrowded and dangerous sailing ships. It is very useful in understanding what these immigrants went through to get to America, and the optimism that they kept even through their hardships.
3. Miller, Kerby and Miller, Patricia Mulholland. Journey of Hope: The Story of Irish Immigration in America. Chronicle Books, San Francisco: 2001.
I chose this source because it is an “interactive history” book on the story of Irish immigration to America. I feel that it is a source that I could use as a teacher, but also a source that I could share with my students. Inside the book is not only a great resource for Irish immigration history, but fun “interactive” parts that kids would love. For example, you can open an envelope and read a real letter from an Irish immigrant that he wrote to his father back home. You can unfold an actual eviction notice given to a destitute Irish tenant in 1847. Inside another pocket are examples of prayer cards that Irish-American Catholics used. It’s a source that could be used by both adults and students studying Irish immigration history.
4. Moloney, Mick. Far From the Shamrock Shore. Crown Publishers, New York: 2002.
This is a book that I have owned for many years now. The author, Mick Moloney, holds a Ph.D. in folklore and folklife from the University of Pennsylvania, and is an Irish musician. He has written a book on the Irish immigration experience told through Irish-American folk song lyrics. The book even comes with one of his CDs that accompanies the stories and history found in the book. This source is particularly useful because it helps the reader to get a true understanding of how Irish immigrants felt in their hearts.
5. Parker, Lewis K. Why Irish Immigrants Came to America. New York: PowerKids, 2003.
This is a website that was created to invoke “sociological imagination” for the reader. It has many contributors who provide sociological commentary and pictures designed to make the reader think about sociological topics in a critical way. This source was very useful in my paper as it provided a discussion and political cartoons about how Irish immigrants, like African Americans, were portrayed by society as ape-like in an effort to dehumanize and oppress them.