THE IRISH IN AMERICA, (A&E Television Networks, $29.95).
The dramatic story of Irish immigration to America is explored in this two-volume video set, through photographs and film, first-person accounts, the music of Ireland, and interviews with historians, political scientists, and U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Jean Kennedy Smith. The program details aspects of life in Ireland, including the arrival of the Scots to the province of Ulster in the late 1500s and the ensuing long-term consequences of that migration, the tyranny suffered by the Irish under a succession of English monarchs, and the mid-nineteenth-century potato blight that led to an exodus from Ireland to America of approximately five million Irish men, women, and children. The film also presents the story of the immigrants after their arrival in the United States, highlighting such Irish Americans as seventh U.S. president Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), self-made tycoon “Diamond Jim” Brady (1856-1917), union organizer Mary “Mother” Jones (1830-1930), and the most famous of the early boxers, John L. Sullivan (1858-1918), the first athlete in history to make a million dollars through his sport.