Twenty Years of Irish American Historiography and No Lamps

Kevin Kenny’s book review on Kerby Milllers; Emigrants and Exiles, which goes into detail of Irish Amerian historiography. Kenny studies how Miller determined why the Irish were the only group of migrants to feel exiled out of their country. He also points out that Irish historiography has only recently been studied properly. Kenny brings up Donald Akensons thesis on Irish migration and mobility through Austria, New Zealand, and Canada and how this pre-migration culture contributed to this groups progress abroad, concluding that the Miller thesis was inaccurate interpretation of the culture background of these migrants. Kenny also brings up other historians research on the migration of Irish settlers in other parts of the world and how their success there does not explain why Millers thesis about the pre-migration culture and why the Irish thrived so poorly in America. Miller influenced many other historians to study the path of this ethnic groups life. Not only in America but also in other countries. Miller addresses the “whiteness thesis” in his book, this is where white people would experience racism before being made “white” or American white. Kenny ends his review by pointing out the different approaches to Irish American historiography and migration. No Lamps Were Lit for Them: Angel Island and the Historiography of Asian American Immirgaiton, by Roger Daniels is about the history of Angel Island, and the different migrant groups that went through it to gain citizenship. Mainly Asian immigrants passed through this Island before becoming American citizens. Many of these people also gave false names in order to gain access into America. Daniel uses records, papers, census to find the historiography of this group and the difficulties that they went through to get into the country.

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