Christopher Klein

When America Despised the Irish: The 19th Century’s Refugee Crisis

More than 150 years ago, tens of thousands of poor, disease-ridden refugees sought haven in the United States. They threatened to take jobs away from Americans and strain welfare budgets. They practiced an alien religion and pledged allegiance to a foreign leader. They were accused of being criminals. And, worst of all to many Americans, these undesirables were Irish. Explore this era of scorn the Irish initially encountered and find out how they became part of the American mainstream.

Christopher Klein ( is the author of When the Irish Invaded Canada: The Incredible True Story of the Civil War Veterans Who Fought for Ireland’s Freedom and Strong Boy: The Life and Times of John L. Sullivan, America’s First Sports Hero. He is a frequent contributor to, the website of the History Channel, and has written for The Boston Globe, The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, Harvard Magazine,, and

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