(WTNH) — University of New Haven professor and head of the English Department Dr. Chris Dowd talks about his new book in time for St. Patrick’s Day.

Dr. Dowd’s new book The Irish and the Origins of American Popular Culture discusses the struggles Irish immigrants faced when they first arrived in America.

The Irish were the first group to arrive in the U.S. by the millions and they quickly, faster than almost any other group, assimilated into American society.

Like other immigrant groups, they were ridiculed and discriminated against; even in fiction For example, Huck Finn is Irish and his father was allowed only to sleep outside.

Within just a few generations, Irish-American life transformed so significantly that grandchildren hardly recognized the world in which their grandparents had lived. This transformation was heavily shaped and influenced by emerging popular culture, and in turn, the Irish-American experience helped shape the foundations of American popular culture in such a way that the effects are still noticeable today.