From the National Book Award-winning and best-selling author Timothy Egan comes the epic story of one of the most fascinating and colorful Irishmen in 19th-century America.
The Irish-American story, with all its twists and triumphs, is told through the improbable life of one man. A dashing young orator during the Great Famine of the 1840s, in which a million of his Irish countrymen died, Thomas Francis Meagher led a failed uprising against British rule, for which he was banished to a Tasmanian prison colony. He escaped and six months later was heralded in the streets of New York - the revolutionary hero, back from the dead, at the dawn of the great Irish immigration to America.
Meagher's rebirth in America included his leading the newly formed Irish Brigade from New York in many of the fiercest battles of the Civil War - Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg. Twice shot from his horse while leading charges, left for dead in the Virginia mud, Meagher's dream was that Irish-American troops, seasoned by war, would return to Ireland and liberate their homeland from British rule.
The hero's last chapter, as territorial governor of Montana, was a romantic quest for a true home in the far frontier. His death has long been a mystery to which Egan brings haunting, colorful new evidence.
©2016 Timothy Egan (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
"Gerard Doyle narrates the astonishing life story of Thomas Meagher with the lilting enthusiasm of an Irishman who has a fine yarn to tell. And how fine it is.... Infinitely listenable, Doyle delivers this remarkable biography with a clarity, pleasure, and ease that will entice even those who've never heard of Meagher." (AudioFile)
I thought it was authentic to have an Irish narrator; however, that partly became the reason I left points off. The narrator's cadence was so consistent that my mind often wandered or I fell asleep. There were also parts I didn't understand and sometimes wondered if it were also due to the author's style of writing. A more animated narration and cleaner writing would have made this 5 stars because the author clearly did his research. I felt uncomfortable not being able to grasp this story to its fullest but to do so you'd intermittently need superb listening skills.
I don't think I could. It's a great book, but brutally honest about tyrants, war, and treachery. The reality of the period is gut wrenching, in spite of the great spirit and efforts of a hero..
Any well researched book about the civil war.
Thomas Meagher comes alive in the pages, with faults, glory and failures. The author shows all sides of the great man's complexity. The author's depiction of President Lincoln outlines his dilemmas and the strain of responsibility he faced in governing a country in the most bloody of human wars.
Nothing, His Irish brogue was understandable and clear. It added a reality to the story that would not have been as gripping without him.
It is not an easy book to listen to. This period of history was bloody, brutal, and depressing to witness through the author's words. The truth of it is painful and at times, I had to put the book down and force myself to go back to finish it. It's illuminating for our current political environment. I constantly thought of the parallels with our society and the difficulties we are facing in the world today. So many things have not changed.
It is a biography, a history of Ireland, the Civil War, and the Irish people. It is one of the best books I've listened to.
I would give it 6 stars if I could.
I thought I knew my Irish history but when it came to Thomas Meagher, sadly I knew very little.
All I really knew about him was that after immigrating from Ireland he had served in the Civil War before serving as the governor of Montana territory.
Of course I knew he had died under mysterious circumstances but that was about it.
I had no idea that he had been sent to Tasmania for participating in the fight for Irish independence from the British Or exactly how big a part he played in the Civil War.
He led a relatively short but very fascinating life.
I would recommend this book not only to those with an interest in Irish history but also those interested in the Civil War era.
It is one of the best biographies that I've listened to in quite a while.
Of course as Gerard Doyle is one of my very favorite narrator, it made to book all that much better in my opinion.
I was a bit apprehensive of this book before I bought it; very few reviews... Ok 1
The Irish brogue of the narrator drew me in. It was well performed and yes, well written.
It really changed my historical perception of Irish immigrants and especially the Civil War.
This book isn't full of eye/ear 'catching pros' that often hold my interest. But, the historical content written in a smooth, intelligent and interesting format was awesome!
I recommend it to everyone. Especially if you enjoy an author like David McCollough and history told in a fascinating way.
Timothy Egan has done it again. He makes history touchable and personable. Never dry. I wish he had written the history books when I was in school. I would have been an honor student!!
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
For me, this was one of those "aha!" books which come along every now and then. We had just moved near the little town of Sharpsburg in Maryland - so, of course, one of the first local history places we visited was the Antietam Battlefield. Prominent at the head of the infamous "bloody alley" sunken road, there is a monument and plaque detailing the role of the Irish Brigade and General Thomas Meagher.
So when I saw this book about the man, and because I have appreciated Tim Egan and Gerard Doyle's work for a long time, I jumped at the chance to hear it.
It's a tale as rollicking and mysterious as anyone - not just the Irish - could want. This man's life was not only full and incredible, but his ever-optimistic, passionate soul reflects that of so many who have made America great.
We never seem to learn much from the horrors of war and human hatred and misunderstanding in the past. The story of Meagher (so good to know how that is actually pronounced!) resonates - a man who fought prejudice and injustice for the Irish cause, but also came to see how those same issues affected other Americans, like slaves and Native tribes.
We need more people in the world like Thomas Meagher - and Nelson Mandela and Malala. May good writers like Tim Egan continue to tell us their stories!
Depends. The biographical and historical info is well and thoroughly presented. If a friend wanted to focus on that, I'd reccomend this book. My objections follow. First, the author starts the book with a brief and partial description of Thomas Meagher's drowning. Then the author backtracks and begins the tale of Meagher's life, intertwined with descriptions of Irish suffering under British control. I didn't know anything about Meagher before I began listening. I didn't appreciate learning how he died before I learned anything else about the man's life. Second, while I agree that the British treated the Irish shamefully over the centuries, I grew tired of listening to the author's tales of Irish victimhood. The overdose of brutality and suffering wore down my sympathy. Not an easy accomplishment, as my background is Irish Catholic and I was initially quite sympathetic.
Since the end is also the beginning, my reaction was disappointment.
The narrator used and reused tone and emphasis in a cyclical, predictable fashion. It was hard to decide whether I was more bored or annoyed by this. After a while, the scales tipped toward annoyed.
Not for me.
I'm 2/3 through this listening experience, and I've heard enough. I will return this book to Audible.
Yes. This is an absolutely terrific book. I gave it as a gift to another Audible member because I knew he would like it.
The narration was simply outstanding. To pick an Irishman with skill and talent to narrate this book was absolutely the right move. The story included the perfect mix of specific life events of the protagonist and historical context. You will learn about this man's life as well as a great deal about the times in which he lived. I will be looking for more books by this author and this narrator to be sure. One of my all-time favorite audiobooks.
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