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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Compelling, historical, romantic - this story put me in touch with my Irish roots and love of American history better than any story I've listened to on audible (or read!). I'm pretty well educated - by Jesuits no less - but never had I heard of the Immortal Irishman,Thomas Meagher. How could I be so ignorant of the history of the Irish in our Civil War, in New York City and the American West in mid 19th century? The author Timothy Egan writes so eloquently; his dramatic tale kept me sitting in my car long after my driving was done. The narrator is the superb Gerard Doyle whose brogue evokes the verdant color and spirit of Ireland, and whose savvy inflection conveys the remarkable events as cinema. Compared to two other audibles I recently heard, "Lawrence In Arabia" and "Valiant Ambition," this book is less a historical chronicle of event after event and more a woven tapestry of how a heroic man's life took shape while inspiring, challenging and shaping the lives of others on three continents. Highly recommended, a must.
I like the book from the start. The narrator has an Irish accent which makes it even better in my view. It is a history of a courageous man who overcame persecution from English rule. There is a good deal regarding the Famine and just how cruel the English were to the Irish in every manner of life. Thomas Meagher combated that and was transported for sedition. The book shows how a man had to fight for freedom in Ireland. Fight for his freedom from the English in Australia, he fought for the US and fought for the slaves. He later had to fight again after the war for the territory of Montana. Meagher was a stand up man who fought against hatred, persecution, injustice, freedom and liberty all of his life.I highly recommend this book.
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