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The newest volume in the award-winning Penguin History of American Life series, this innovative and fascinating work chronicles how a new urban American identity was forged in the streets, saloons, and churches of the nation's cities during the nineteenth century-a process deeply shaped, according to author James R. Barrett, by the Irish. Drawing on contemporary sociological studies and diaries, newspaper accounts, and Irish American literature, The Irish Wayillustrates how interactions between the Irish and later immigrants on the streets, on the vaudeville stage, and in workplaces from New York to Chicago helped forge a multiethnic identity that has a profound legacy in our country today.
James R. Barrett is a professor of history at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. He is the author of William Z. Foster and the Tragedy of American Radicalism and lives in Champaign, Illinois.