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How the Irish Saved Civilization Audiobook

How the Irish Saved Civilization

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Publisher's Summary

From the fall of Rome to the rise of Charlemagne - the "dark ages" - learning, scholarship, and culture disappeared from the European continent. The great heritage of Western civilization - from the Greek and Roman classics to Jewish and Christian works - would have been utterly lost were it not for the holy men and women of unconquered Ireland.

In this delightful and illuminating look into a crucial but little-known "hinge" of history, Thomas Cahill takes us to the "island of saints and scholars," the Ireland of St. Patrick and the Book of Kells. Here, far from the barbarian despoliation of the continent, monks and scribes laboriously, lovingly, even playfully preserved the West's written treasury. With the return of stability in Europe, these Irish scholars were instrumental in spreading learning. Thus the Irish not only were conservators of civilization, but became shapers of the medieval mind, putting their unique stamp on Western culture.

Thanks to Thomas Cahill, this pivotal era is brought back to vibrant life, its personages portrayed in all their seemingly contemporary humanity, its issues simply and compellingly spelled out. How the Irish Saved Civilization will change forever the way we look at our past, and ourselves.

©1995 Thomas Cahill; (P)1999 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, a Division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Cahill's lovely prose breathes life into a 1,600-year-old history." (The Los Angeles Times)
"Charming and poetic...an entirely engaging, delectable voyage into the distant past, a small treasure." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (521 )
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3.7 (254 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Thomas Hooksett, NH, USA 11-29-06
    Thomas Hooksett, NH, USA 11-29-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Unable to understand narrator"

    I could not listen to this book, the narration is horrible. Note to author, make sure you hire a narrator who can speak clearly.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Barnes 04-17-17
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    8
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    "The untold story of the Irish"

    The Irish contribution to Judeo Western culture is often over looked and us deserving of review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JM Boulay 02-19-17
    JM Boulay 02-19-17 Member Since 2017
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    7
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    "an undertaking, but worth it"

    so very interesting. I haven't looked into it, but we'll researched it seems. sad story in the end, but with a message that all may not be lost, as with the civilization the irish saved

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MOR Denver 02-11-17
    MOR Denver 02-11-17 Member Since 2016
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    7
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    "Are You Irish?"

    I read this book years ago and have to admit I didn't understand it. This reading was entertaining and illuminating. If you are interested in history or religion, this is a wonderful book to spend some time with.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy 10-21-16
    Amy 10-21-16
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    "A good historical allegory, but tainted by extreme Christian Bias"

    This book has the potential to be excellent. It provides a unique and extremely valuable new perspective on the Irish and will change the way you look at the history of western society.

    The problem is that all this information comes packaged in unbelievable Christian bias and rhetoric. Such gems as, "The Europeans were just scattered animists ready for a change," to the insinuation that Europe was a land of darkness and evil gods until Christianity brought love, light, and acceptance to the world. Anyone living in reality knows that is not the case. Religion forced by sword and the threat of death to entire civilizations hardly aligns with all this "love and light".

    Still, I'm giving the book 3 stars for the history I was able to receive by sifting through the nonsense. If it were just the information told unbiasedly, I would've give the book 5 stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Ann Arbor, MI, US 04-20-16
    Lisa Ann Arbor, MI, US 04-20-16 Member Since 2010
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    "lots of detailed history"

    it you want to learn about the so called dark ages and how they came about, as well as how Irish culture began, this is the book to read

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Guerin Shea Nashville, TN USA 03-20-16
    Guerin Shea Nashville, TN USA 03-20-16 Member Since 2015
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    "One proud Irishman here"

    Revisiting this book after 20 years was an incredible journey for this Irishman. I can't stress its importance enough.

    Our civilization is undergoing massive changes in the 21st century. Cahill's book provides a blueprint for how we may continue to transmit our civilization's fundamental values to future generations. Change is inevitable - loss is not.

    Cahill presents an a history which has been forcibly suppressed by the British for 5 centuries of a tolerant, democratic, and lusty religion in the portraits of Saint Patrick, Saint Brigid, Saint Columba, and others of the early Irish Church. We should look back to these figures as spiritual leaders in the 21st century.

    Thanks, Aunt Sara. 😇

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom Dolan 02-17-16
    Tom Dolan 02-17-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hilariously Irish Narrator: entertaining/amusing!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of How the Irish Saved Civilization to be better than the print version?

    Yes. The audio edition is much more lively than the print version. I recommend listening to the audio edition first; then read the print version. Listening to the audio version makes you WANT to read the print version. I don't think it would work the other way around.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Two things: (1) the credit given to the Irish for saving civilization; and, more importantly, (2) the portrayal of Saint Patrick as a good Irishman who loses his temper when he sees someone defenseless being mistreated.


    What about Donal Donnelly’s performance did you like?

    The relaxing pace; the Irish brogue; the good humor...funny, fun, and informative. Very lively.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    No.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William E. Hendry 01-21-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Tales From An Irish Pub"
    If you could sum up How the Irish Saved Civilization in three words, what would they be?

    Irelands been upgraded


    What was one of the most memorable moments of How the Irish Saved Civilization?

    The vision to save the works, remembering the slow and tedious effort required to make copies.


    Which character – as performed by Donal Donnelly – was your favorite?

    update later, but certainly St. Patrick.


    Any additional comments?

    Time well spent learning who were really the righteous brothers and who were the burners

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Isaac 08-20-15
    Isaac 08-20-15
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    3
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    "Captivating"

    This book was unlike any other I have ever read. It told of a story where most believe there is no story. It unabashedly related the history that needs to be told.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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