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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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Carrie Arnold on 03-29-16
What A Life!
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.
46 of 48 people found this review helpful
By Amazon Customer on 04-01-16
Would you listen to The Immortal Irishman again? Why?
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..
What other book might you compare The Immortal Irishman to and why?
Any well researched book about the civil war.
Which scene was your favorite?
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.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Nothing, His Irish brogue was understandable and clear. It added a reality to the story that would not have been as gripping without him.
Any additional comments?
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.
69 of 74 people found this review helpful