Tom Hayden was an American political and social activist. He is renowned for his great involvement in civil rights, animal rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s. In his book, he expresses the torment he suffered due to being an emigrant. He uses his own experience to recall how civil rights activists in the American South profoundly impacted the freedom struggle. He came to the realization that he was an “Irish from the inside” and an “American from the outside” in 1969, when he encountered civil rights activists marching down the street and shouting, “We shall overcome!” In his book, he expresses the loss suffered by such conformists. The argument that he puts forward is that assimilation has led to laxity, alcoholism, depression and domestic violence in Irish people.
The book addresses a number of issues and questions. His conformist ideology advocates re-inhabitation of the current Irish-American territory and urges people to realize that assimilation tends to render them submissive. He is of the opinion that people should recognize other communities which ancestors were once subjected to similar prejudice. He thus calls on the Irish-Americans to recognize their unique role in re-shaping the American social structure and emphasizing the importance of that practice to the world. Tom Hayden attempts to instill the principle of pioneerism in the Irish people that was to set an example to others in the world.
Tom Hayden wrote the book to share his hard-earned experience that was meant to instigate the Irish rebellion for the St. Patrick’s Day from Independent Day. He represents the few activists who had the courage to render their people invaluable service. He steered a radical variation in the Irish history both at home and in the diaspora. Radicalism was the mix that had inspired the Irish Republicanist and progressive populists to write about the argument of re-identification. The book also represents a new interpretation of the principle of colonization. According to past interpretation, it is the understanding that causes people to abandon their roots and accept the elites they once fought against. The author succeeds unwittingly in solving the puzzle of why the modern America is less radical than what Benjamin Franklin wanted it to be. For instance, Trust Mayhem, was a radical mix of Midwest progressive populism and Irish republicanism. In order to write the book, the Irish-American actually argued over the re-identification of the white, liberation struggles of emigrants, as well as discrimination based on race, color and class. The author shows this by example when he returns to Ireland to unearth the seed of radicalism. The tribute of storytelling coupled with a high level of enthusiasm makes the story a success. Similar to Peter Hayden who died when taking part in an Irish insurgence in 1978, he mixes the story with inspired reflections on his ancestral experience.
The author uses important facts and concepts to support his interpretation. The greatest contribution he makes is the exploration of assimilation of Irish nationals in America. The powerful statement “Irish from inside” ought to be understood in the real sense. This comes across as an invasion of Irish ethnicity or not as an excuse, but as an inspiration to struggle for justice at home and abroad. In his story telling techniques, Hayden did a much better job than any author before him. He does this with a great deal of Irish enthusiasm by mixing his inspired reflections with history of Irish experience in his own ancestry. The book has presented a detailed travelogue, sociology, philosophy, poetry and investigative reporting. These are the featured aspects that the readers ought not to suffer from. It was of no use to extend the vision of patriotism without embracing the revolutionary spirit the young immigrants were striving for.
Hunger has been metaphorically used in “Irish on the Inside” to explore the need for a sustained intellectual, physical and emotional forms. Hayden speculates that the dark machination of the colonialists, especially the British, caused the Irish famine of the 1840s that resulted in dislocation of millions of young Irish. The natives of Wincousin perceived the emigrants as wild, intellectually deficient and potentially criminal. They are also faced with a high level of resistance in America of the 20th century.
Emigrants continue to be discriminated against on the grounds of being gays, lesbians and descendants of slaves. Emmet Sullivan farm is provided as an example of a rail stop for freed slaves. He relishes the heroic deeds of such San Patricious as John Adams and Abraham Lincoln who recognized America’s 1848 invasion to Mexico as aggression. The San Patricious abandoned the United States cause to fight the Mexican government. As the author illustrates, they were only traitors to “colonization of the mind” but not the revolutionary values of America.
Conformism is a philosophy that the author explores in depth. This is an idea that presents orthodoxy in beliefs and thoughts. Even though the ancestors of the author were forced to migrate to the US in the 1850s, his parents denied his Irish heritage for want of respectability. It is for this reason that the author explores the losses caused by such ideas. He beseeches his people to re-inhabit their lands and develop a sense of belonging for themselves. “The Anglo-cultural development will satisfy their needs to the fullest and determine the survival of the Irish souls”, he told them, “Their unique role consists in reshaping the society and proving to the world that we are not poor”.
Hayden explores the emotional, psychic and political results of the removal of a rebellious Irish custom by generations seeking the decency of American assimilation. He argues that this benefited Irish-American literature by sentimentality typifying the high rates of depression, schizophrenia and alcoholism in the public.