Tom Hayden explores the losses wrought by Irish American conformism, in his own life and beyond. When David Trimble claimed recently that Irish republicans needed house-training, I felt the echo of my master's voice down through the ages, that of the Vikings, the British, and the WASPs, and knew why I am Irish. Now and then someone has to defecate on the master's rug. Tom Hayden first realized he was 'Irish on the inside' when he heard civil rights marchers in Northern Ireland singing 'We Shall Overcome' in 1969. Though his great-grandparents had been forced to emigrate to the US in the 1850s, Hayden's parents erased his Irish heritage in the quest for respectability. In this passionate book he explores the losses wrought by such conformism. Assimilation, he argues, has led to high rates of schizophrenia, depression, alcoholism and domestic violence within the Irish community. Today's Irish-Americans, Hayden contends, need to re-inhabit their history, to recognize that assimilation need not entail submission. By recognizing their links to others now experiencing the prejudice once directed at their ancestors, they can develop a sense of themselves that is both specific and inclusive: 'The survival of a distinct Irish soul is proof enough that Anglo culture will never fully satisfy our needs. We have a unique role in reshaping American society to empathize with the world's poor, for their story is the genuine story of the Irish.'Though his great-grandparents had been forced to emigrate to the US in the 1850s, Haydena#39;s parents erased his Irish heritage in the quest for respectability. In this passionate book he explores the losses wrought by such conformism.
|Title||:||Irish on the Inside|
|Publisher||:||Verso - 2003|