The Immortal Irishman by Timothy Egan
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.
A dashing young orator during the Great Famine of the 1840s, in which a million of his Irish countrymen died, Thomas Francis Meagher helped lead a failed uprising against British rule, for which he was banished to a Tasmanian Prison Colony for life. 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, Fredricksburg. Twice shot from his horse while leading charges, left for dead in the Viriginia mud, Meagher fought heroically while holding fast to his dream – that Irish American troops, seasoned by war, would return to Ireland and liberate it from British rule.
Meagher’s last chapter was as territorial governor of Montana. It was a romantic quest for a true home in the far frontier. His death at age 43 has long been a mystery, to which Egan brings conclusive new evidence.
“Thomas Meagher’s is an irresistible story, irresistibly retold by the virtuosic Timothy Egan” Wall Street Journal
“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 Reviews, starred.
“With novelistic skill, Egan fashions a dizzying tableau of the life of his restless subject…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
“Without a shadow of a doubt this is one of the finest Irish American books ever written…What Egan has done is restore the reputation and uncovered a host of details on a man I would venture to say had no peer in our history of Irish America…Egan’s take on Irish American history gives this book a breadth and significance that would be very hard to match.” Niall O’Dowd, Irish America
“This is marvelous stuff. Thomas F. Meagher strides onto Egan’s beautifully rough pages just as he lived – powerfully larger than life. A fascinating account of an extraordinary life.” – Daniel James Brown, author of The Boys in the Boat: Nine American and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
“Any new book by popular historian Timothy Egan is a cause for celebration, and The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero is no exception… Meagher’s story is the story of the Irish diaspora, and The Immortal Irishman is part biography, part celebration of the unkillable Irish spirit.” – Shelf Awareness