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The Immortal Irishman: Book summary and reviews of The Immortal Irishman by Timothy Egan

The Immortal Irishman

The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero

by Timothy Egan

The Immortal Irishman by Timothy Egan X
The Immortal Irishman by Timothy Egan
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About this book

Book Summary

From the National Book Award–winning and best-selling author Timothy Egan comes the epic story of one of the most fascinating and colorful Irishman in nineteenth-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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. A fascinating, well-told story by an author fully committed to his subject. Egan's impeccable research, uncomplicated readability, and flowing narrative reflect his deep knowledge of a difficult and complex man." - Kirkus

"As history, Egan's book is solid; as storytelling, it's captivating. The work adds little to the broader picture of American history - it focuses on the scenes in which Meagher participated, and those have been exhaustively covered elsewhere - but it provides an impressive biography of a distinctive Irish-American figure, the patriot of two countries, faithful to each to his last." - Publishers Weekly

This information about The Immortal Irishman was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Marie McAndrew-Taylor

Immortal Irishman
A story about an extraordinary man who lead an extraordinary life. Timothy Egan's writing is clear, concise and compassionate. Highly recommend.

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Author Information

Timothy Egan Author Biography

Sophie Egan

Timothy Egan is a national enterprise reporter for The New York Times and has a weekly column, "Outposts." He is the author of seven books and the recipient of several awards, including the Pulitzer Prize. The Worst Hard Time won the 2006 National Book Award in the nonfiction category. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

Author Interview
Link to Timothy Egan's Website

Other books by Timothy Egan at BookBrowse
  • The Worst Hard Time jacket
  • Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher jacket
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