Mon Jun 08 2020 - Mon Jul 06 2020


Mondays only
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm



Give Me Your Huddled Masses: The Irish, Italian and Jewish Immigration Experience, with Ken Blady ONLINE

This five-session course is offered by Acalanes Adult Education beginning 7/2.

Between 1845 and 1925, almost 40 million immigrants came to America, the greatest human migration in history. Pressures of overpopulation, domination by a foreign power, political and religious persecution, economic dislocation, crop failure–all were components in the departure of peoples from their native lands. During this period New York City was a cauldron into which the masses poured from all over Europe. The Irish Catholics were the first ethnic minority to populate the great American cities. Much of their early history set the classic pattern of the newcomer to the urban economy and society. In these multi-media presentation we will examine the varied experiences of the “classic” European immigrant groups in adapting to American society. Some topics to be dealt with in these multi-media presentations:

•The Great Irish Potato Famine of 1845-1851 and the “push and pull” theory of mass emigration

• “ Those races of simians, imbeciles and pickpockets”: Nativist perceptions of the Irish, Italians, and Jews 

•Rabbi Jacob Joseph and the kosher karubke (meat tax) fiasco in turn-of-the-century Lower East Side

•From Shanty Irish to Lace-curtain Irish: the role of the Irish-American woman in the mainstreaming of Irish Americans 

•The Italian mafioso: His function in the Old Country and in the New 

•Irish gangs of the Bowery and the “Draft Riots” of 1863

•Profiles of Amadeo Pietro Giannini, founder of Bank of America, and Isaias Hellman, founder of Wells Fargo Bank

Yidn and Yehudim: The Eastern European Jewish immigrant masses and their complex relationship with the uptown German Jews

•Boxing as a vehicle for fighting one’s way out of the ghetto: Biographical sketches of John L. Sullivan, Benny Leonard, and Tony Canzoneri.

About Ken Blady»

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