Servants of the Poor
Teachers and Mobility in Ireland and Irish America
222 pages, 0.00 x 0.00
Paperback | 9780268036607 | October 2004
Hardcover | 9780268036591 | October 2004
eBook (PDF) | 9780268160265 | October 2004
In the late nineteenth century, an era in which social mobility was measured almost exclusively by the success of men, Irish-American women were leading their ethnic group into the lower-middle-class occupations of civil service, teaching, and health care. Unlike their immigrant mothers who often became servants of the rich, Irish-American daughters became servants of the poor by teaching in public school classrooms. Janet Nolan argues that the remarkable success of Irish-American women was tied to their educational achievements and to the encouragement of their mothers who had been educated in the Irish national schools. By the first decade of the twentieth century, Irish-American women were the largest single ethnic group among public elementary school teachers in cities such as Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco. Servants of the Poor is a pioneering work which looks at the teaching profession at the turn of the century from the perspective of these women.
Janet Nolan is professor of history at Loyola University Chicago.
"In this slim, engaging volume, Janet Nolan examines the role of education and teaching in the lives of Irish Americans in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. ...Nolan's work is impressive.... She has provided an informative description of Ireland's educational system and has offered many new insights into the challenges that Irish American teachers faced. This work will appeal to readers interested in Irish America, women's history, and the history of education." —American Historical Review ~American Historical Review