Review by Choice Review
Gallman's study of Liverpool's and Philadelphia's reactions to the Great Famine migrants is not Irish history but a comparative analysis of urban social planning in mid-19th-century Britain and America. Virtually every issue facing burgeoning cities--poverty, disease, crime, sanitation, and sectarian, ethnic, and (in the case of Philadelphia) racial conflict--existed well before the arrival of the Irish poor in the late 1840s. The Irish found themselves "adjusting to, rather than recasting, the established patterns of the host culture." Those hosts, Liverpudlians and Philadelphians, shared values and a common intellectual climate. Yet Liverpudlians relied more on public agencies, often turned to parliamentary help (however fruitlessly), were more able to predict street riots between the Irish Catholic migrants and the Orangemen, and knew their city had a reputation for being unhealthy and thus invested more resources in sanitary reform. With no tradition of central authority, many private charities in place, and abundant hinterlands, Philadelphians worried more about their city's reputation as disorderly. Ethnic, racial, and occupational discord reigned, and thus police reform was the issue. Alexis de Tocqueville's, Fredrick Jackson Turner's, Daniel Boorstin's, and David Potter's observations about American voluntarism, localism, and abundance prove right after all. Graduate, faculty readership. C. M. McGovern; Frostburg State University
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