History

The Immortal Irishman | ,

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"An old-fashioned tale of tall talk, high ideals,and irresistible appeal . . . You will not read a historical thriller like this all year . . . [Egan] is a master storyteller." —Boston Globe “Egan has a gift for sweeping narrative . . . and he has a journalist’s eye for the telltale detail . . . This is masterly work.” — New York Times Book Review In this exciting and illuminating work, National Book Award winner Timothy Egan delivers a story, both rollicking and haunting, of one of the most famous Irish Americans of all time. A dashing young orator during the Great Hunger of the 1840s, Thomas Francis Meagher led a failed uprising against British rule, for which he was banished to a Tasmanian prison colony for life. But two years later he was “back from the dead” and in New York, instantly the most famous Irishman in America. Meagher’s rebirth included his leading the newly formed Irish Brigade in many of the fiercest battles of the Civil War. Afterward, he tried to build a new Ireland in the wild west of Montana—a quixotic adventure that ended in the great mystery of his disappearance, which Egan resolves convincingly at last. “This is marvelous stuff. Thomas F. Meagher strides onto Egan's beautifully wrought 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 “Thomas Meagher’s is an irresistible story, irresistibly retold by the virtuosic Timothy Egan . . . A gripping, novelistic page-turner.” — Wall Street Journal.

History

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher | Timothy Egan

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“A vivid exploration of one man's lifelong obsession with an idea . . . Egan’s spirited biography might just bring [Curtis] the recognition that eluded him in life.” —Washington Post Edward Curtis was charismatic, handsome, a passionate mountaineer, and a famous portrait photographer, the Annie Leibovitz of his time. He moved in rarefied circles, a friend to presidents, vaudeville stars, leading thinkers. But when he was thirty-two years old, in 1900, he gave it all up to pursue his Great Idea: to capture on film the continent’s original inhabitants before the old ways disappeared. Curtis spent the next three decades documenting the stories and rituals of more than eighty North American tribes. It took tremendous perseverance—ten years alone to persuade the Hopi to allow him to observe their Snake Dance ceremony. And the undertaking changed him profoundly, from detached observer to outraged advocate. Curtis would amass more than 40,000 photographs and 10,000 audio recordings, and he is credited with making the first narrative documentary film. In the process, the charming rogue with the grade school education created the most definitive archive of the American Indian. “A darn good yarn. Egan is a muscular storyteller and his book is a rollicking page-turner with a colorfully drawn hero.” —San Francisco Chronicle “A riveting biography of an American original.” —Boston Globe.

Biography & Autobiography

The Irish General | Paul R. Wylie

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Irish patriot, Civil War general, frontier governor—Thomas Francis Meagher played key roles in three major historical arenas. Today he is hailed as a hero by some, condemned as a drunkard by others. Paul R. Wylie now offers a definitive biography of this nineteenth-century figure who has long remained an enigma. The Irish General first recalls Meagher’s life from his boyhood and leadership of Young Ireland in the revolution of 1848, to his exile in Tasmania and escape to New York, where he found fame as an orator and as editor of the Irish News. He served in the Civil War—viewing the Union Army as training for a future Irish revolutionary force—and rose to the rank of brigadier general leading the famous Irish Brigade. Wylie traces Meagher’s military career in detail through the Seven Days battles, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville. Wylie then recounts Meagher’s final years as acting governor of Montana Territory, sorting historical truth from false claims made against him regarding the militia he formed to combat attacking American Indians, and plumbing the mystery surrounding his death. Even as Meagher is lauded in most Irish histories, his statue in front of Montana’s capitol is viewed by some with contempt. The Irish General brings this multi-talented but seriously flawed individual to life, offering a balanced picture of the man and a captivating reading experience..

Biography & Autobiography

The Immortal Irishman | Instaread

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The Immortal Irishman by Timothy Egan | Summary & Analysis Preview: Timothy Egan’s The Immortal Irishman is a biography of Thomas Meagher: Irish revolutionary, convict, and Civil War general. The book also offers a broad portrait of the experiences of the Irish during the period, both at home and abroad. Meagher was born in 1823 into a prominent and wealthy Catholic family. This gave him advantages of education and standing. At the same time, Catholics in Ireland were brutally oppressed, with limits on landholding, political representation, and religion. Meagher was an outspoken opponent of British oppression and British rule, and became known for his stirring and fiery oratory. Meagher became even more radicalized by the Irish Potato Famine that began in 1845. The famine was caused by a potato blight which destroyed half or more of the crop in Ireland for a number of years. The famine was exacerbated by British refusal to provide aid to the Irish... PLEASE NOTE: This is key takeaways and analysis of the book and NOT the original book. Inside this Instaread Summary of The Immortal Irishman · Overview of the book · Important People · Key Takeaways · Analysis of Key Takeaways About the Author With Instaread, you can get the key takeaways, summary and analysis of a book in 15 minutes. We read every chapter, identify the key takeaways and analyze them for your convenience..

History

The Greatest Brigade | Thomas J. Craughwell

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"The Greatest Brigade is an exciting journey through the major battles of the Civil War alongside the members of the famed Irish Brigade. Well researched, compellingly written, filled with fascinating illustrations, and with a story that holds the reader with a 'bulldog grip,' Thomas Craughwell has written a regimental history that deserves to be on every Civil War lover’s bookshelf."—Jason Emerson, author of The Madness of Mary Lincoln and Lincoln the Inventor Faugh a Ballagh! Clear the Way! This is the story of a band of heroes that covered the Yankee retreat at Bull Run, drove the Confederates from the Sunken Road at Antietam, and made charge after charge up Marye's Heights at Fredericksburg. The gallantry of the Irish Brigade won them the admiration of the high command of both North and South, earned them seven Medals of Honor, and after the war, went a long way to helping the Irish assimilate into the American mainstream. Shouting their Gaelic battle cry, the men of the Irish Brigade charged across the bloodiest battlefields of the Civil War and into the realm of legend. The Greatest Brigade is a grand narrative history of these Irishmen who fought in every major battle in the Eastern Theater of the Civil War, including Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and Appomattox. Thomas J. Craughwell, author Stealing Lincoln’s Body and The Buck Stops Here: The 28 Toughest Presidential Decisions and How They Changed History, reveals the reasons why thousands of Irish Catholics—the most despised immigrant group in America at the time—rallied to the Union cause and proved themselves to be among the most ferocious fighters of the war. He examines the character of the Irish Brigade’s two most popular commanders, Michael Corcoran, a man of unshakable principles, and Thomas Francis Meagher, a complex man with many fine qualities—and almost as many flaws..

History

When the Irish Invaded Canada | Christopher Klein

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"Christopher Klein's fresh telling of this story is an important landmark in both Irish and American history." —James M. McPherson Just over a year after Robert E. Lee relinquished his sword, a band of Union and Confederate veterans dusted off their guns. But these former foes had no intention of reigniting the Civil War. Instead, they fought side by side to undertake one of the most fantastical missions in military history: to seize the British province of Canada and to hold it hostage until the independence of Ireland was secured. By the time that these invasions--known collectively as the Fenian raids--began in 1866, Ireland had been Britain's unwilling colony for seven hundred years. Thousands of Civil War veterans who had fled to the United States rather than perish in the wake of the Great Hunger still considered themselves Irishmen first, Americans second. With the tacit support of the U.S. government and inspired by a previous generation of successful American revolutionaries, the group that carried out a series of five attacks on Canada--the Fenian Brotherhood--established a state in exile, planned prison breaks, weathered infighting, stockpiled weapons, and assassinated enemies. Defiantly, this motley group, including a one-armed war hero, an English spy infiltrating rebel forces, and a radical who staged his own funeral, managed to seize a piece of Canada--if only for three days. When the Irish Invaded Canada is the untold tale of a band of fiercely patriotic Irish Americans and their chapter in Ireland's centuries-long fight for independence. Inspiring, lively, and often undeniably comic, this is a story of fighting for what's right in the face of impossible odds..

History

The Big Burn | Timothy Egan

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National Book Award–winner Timothy Egan turns his historian's eye to the largest-ever forest fire in America and offers an epic, cautionary tale for our time. On the afternoon of August 20, 1910, a battering ram of wind moved through the drought-stricken national forests of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, whipping the hundreds of small blazes burning across the forest floor into a roaring inferno that jumped from treetop to ridge as it raged, destroying towns and timber in the blink of an eye. Forest rangers had assembled nearly ten thousand men to fight the fires, but no living person had seen anything like those flames, and neither the rangers nor anyone else knew how to subdue them. Egan recreates the struggles of the overmatched rangers against the implacable fire with unstoppable dramatic force, and the larger story of outsized president Teddy Roosevelt and his chief forester, Gifford Pinchot, that follows is equally resonant. Pioneering the notion of conservation, Roosevelt and Pinchot did nothing less than create the idea of public land as our national treasure, owned by every citizen. Even as TR's national forests were smoldering they were saved: The heroism shown by his rangers turned public opinion permanently in favor of the forests, though it changed the mission of the forest service in ways we can still witness today. This e-book includes a sample chapter of SHORT NIGHTS OF THE SHADOW CATCHER..

History

The Irish Brigade | Russ A. Pritchard

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A Full-Color History for Civil War Enthusiasts, History Buffs, and Anyone Interested in the Saga of the Irish in America! The Union’s Irish Brigade, the Civil War’s most famous fighting outfit, built an unusual reputation for dash and gallantry having fought throughout the war, from First Bull Run in 1861 to the Confederate surrender and Appomattox Court House in 1865. Here is the gripping true story, replete with stunning full-color illustrations, of all Irish regiments from Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New York serving under the direction of the Brigade’s most famous commander, General Thomas Francis Meagher. This meticulously researched text features complete and detailed accounts of the Brigade’s battles and skirmishes, from Bull Run to Yorktown to Peach Orchard to Malvern Hill to Antietam to Petersburg—to name a few. This powerful, authoritative volume captures the heart and tireless effort of the heroic men who rescued the Union from defeat time and time again—enthralling reading with authentic accompanying illustrations that will fascinate everyone from the biggest history buffs to the occasional layman interested in the history of Irish-Americans or the Civil War..

History

The Worst Hard Time | Timothy Egan

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In a tour de force of historical reportage, Timothy Egan’s National Book Award–winning story rescues an iconic chapter of American history from the shadows. The dust storms that terrorized the High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since. Following a dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, Timothy Egan tells of their desperate attempts to carry on through blinding black dust blizzards, crop failure, and the death of loved ones. Brilliantly capturing the terrifying drama of catastrophe, he does equal justice to the human characters who become his heroes, “the stoic, long-suffering men and women whose lives he opens up with urgency and respect” (New York Times). In an era that promises ever-greater natural disasters, The Worst Hard Time is “arguably the best nonfiction book yet” (Austin Statesman Journal) on the greatest environmental disaster ever to be visited upon our land and a powerful reminder about the dangers of trifling with nature. This e-book includes a sample chapter of THE IMMORTAL IRISHMAN..

History

Lincoln and the Irish | Niall O'Dowd

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An unprecedented narrative of the relationship that swung the Civil War. When Pickett charged at Gettysburg, it was the all-Irish Pennsylvania 69th who held fast while the surrounding regiments broke and ran. And it was Abraham Lincoln who, a year earlier at Malvern Hill, picked up a corner of one of the Irish colors, kissed it, and said, “God bless the Irish flag.” Lincoln and the Irish untangles one of the most fascinating subtexts of the Civil War: Abraham Lincoln’s relationship with the men and women coming to America to escape the Irish famine. Renowned Irish-American journalist Niall O’Dowd gives unprecedented insight into a relationship that began with mutual disdain. Lincoln saw the Irish as instinctive supporters of the Democratic opposition, while the Irish saw the English landlord class in Lincoln’s Republicans. But that dynamic would evolve, and the Lincoln whose first political actions included intimidating Irish voters at the polls would eventually hire Irish nannies and donate to the Irish famine fund. When he was voted into the White House, Lincoln surrounded himself with Irish staff, much to the chagrin of a senior aide who complained about the Hibernian cabal. And the Irish would repay Lincoln’s faith—their numbers and courage would help swing the Civil War in his favor, and among them would be some of his best generals and staunchest advocates..

History

The Barbarian's Beverage | Max Nelson

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Comprehensive and detailed, this is the first ever study of ancient beer and its distilling, consumption and characteristics Examining evidence from Greek and Latin authors from 700 BC to AD 900, the book demonstrates the important technological as well as ideological contributions the Europeans made to beer throughout the ages. The study is supported by textual and archaeological evidence and gives a fresh and fascinating insight into an aspect of ancient life that has fed through to modern society and which stands today as one of the world’s most popular beverages. Students of ancient history, classical studies and the history of food and drink will find this an useful and enjoyable read..

History

Lincoln and the Irish | Niall O'Dowd

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An unprecedented narrative of the relationship that swung the Civil War. When Pickett charged at Gettysburg, it was the all-Irish Pennsylvania 69th who held fast while the surrounding regiments broke and ran. And it was Abraham Lincoln who, a year earlier at Malvern Hill, picked up a corner of one of the Irish colors, kissed it, and said, “God bless the Irish flag.” Lincoln and the Irish untangles one of the most fascinating subtexts of the Civil War: Abraham Lincoln’s relationship with the men and women coming to America to escape the Irish famine. Renowned Irish-American journalist Niall O’Dowd gives unprecedented insight into a relationship that began with mutual disdain. Lincoln saw the Irish as instinctive supporters of the Democratic opposition, while the Irish saw the English landlord class in Lincoln’s Republicans. But that dynamic would evolve, and the Lincoln whose first political actions included intimidating Irish voters at the polls would eventually hire Irish nannies and donate to the Irish famine fund. When he was voted into the White House, Lincoln surrounded himself with Irish staff, much to the chagrin of a senior aide who complained about the Hibernian cabal. And the Irish would repay Lincoln’s faith—their numbers and courage would help swing the Civil War in his favor, and among them would be some of his best generals and staunchest advocates..

Political Science

Thinking Together | Angela G. Ray,Paul Stob

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Changes to the landscape of higher education in the United States over the past decades have urged scholars grappling with issues of privilege, inequality, and social immobility to think differently about how we learn and deliberate. Thinking Together is a multidisciplinary conversation about how people approached similar questions of learning and difference in the nineteenth century. In the open air, in homes, in public halls, and even in prisons, people pondered recurring issues: justice, equality, careers, entertainment, war and peace, life and death, heaven and hell, the role of education, and the nature of humanity itself. Paying special attention to the dynamics of race and gender in intellectual settings, the contributors to this volume consider how myriad groups and individuals—many of whom lived on the margins of society and had limited access to formal education—developed and deployed knowledge useful for public participation and public advocacy around these concerns. Essays examine examples such as the women and men who engaged lecture culture during the Civil War; Irish immigrants who gathered to assess their relationship to the politics and society of the New World; African American women and men who used music and theater to challenge the white gaze; and settler-colonists in Liberia who created forums for envisioning a new existence in Africa and their relationship to a U.S. homeland. Taken together, this interdisciplinary exploration shows how learning functioned not only as an instrument for public action but also as a way to forge meaningful ties with others and to affirm the value of an intellectual life. By highlighting people, places, and purposes that diversified public discourse, Thinking Together offers scholars across the humanities new insights and perspectives on how difference enhances the human project of thinking together..

History

Banished Children of Eve | Peter Quinn

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The Civil War has just entered its third bloody year, and the North is about to impose its first military draft, a decision that will spark the most devastating and destructive urban riot in American history. Banished Children of Eve traces that event as its tentacles grip New York City. The cast is drawn from every stratum: a likeable and laconic Irish-American hustler, an ambitious and larcenous Yankee stockbroker, an immigrant serving girl, a beautiful and mysterious mulatto actress and her white minstrel lover as well as a cluster of real-life characters, including scheming, ever-pompous General George McClellan; fiery, fierce Archbishop “Dagger John” Hughes; and fast-declining musical genius Stephen Foster. The fates of these characters coalesce in the cataclysm of the Draft Riots, as a pivotal period in the history of New York and the nation is painfully, vividly, magically bought to life..

Sports & Recreation

The Boys in the Boat | Daniel James Brown

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The #1 New York Times–bestselling story about American Olympic triumph in Nazi Germany and now the inspiration for the PBS documentary “The Boys of ‘36'.” For readers of Unbroken, out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant. It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys’ own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man’s personal quest..

Biography & Autobiography

Nine Irish Lives | Mark Bailey

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“These are not just nine Irish lives but nine extraordinary lives, their struggles universal, their causes never more important than today. As the saying goes, the best stories belong to those who can tell them. And these are well told, by some of our best storytellers.” —Timothy Egan, New York Times bestselling author of The Immortal Irishman In this entertaining and timely anthology, nine contemporary Irish Americans present the stories of nine inspiring Irish immigrants whose compassion, creativity, and indefatigable spirit helped shape America. The authors here bring to bear their own life experiences as they reflect on their subjects, in each essay telling a unique and surprisingly intimate story. Rosie O’Donnell, an adoptive mother of five, writes about Margaret Haughery, the Mother of Orphans. Poet Jill McDonough recounts the story of a particularly brave Civil War soldier, and filmmaker and activist Michael Moore presents the original muckraking journalist, Samuel McClure. Novelist Kathleen Hill reflects on famed New Yorker writer Maeve Brennan, and historian Terry Golway examines the life of pivotal labor leader Mother Jones. In his final written work, activist and politician Tom Hayden explores his own namesake, Thomas Addis Emmet. Nonprofit executive Mark Shriver writes about the priest who founded Boys Town, and celebrated actor Pierce Brosnan—himself a painter in his spare time—writes about silent film director Rex Ingram, also a sculptor. And a pair of Pulitzer Prize–winning journalists, Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan, take on the story of Niall O’Dowd, the news publisher who brokered peace in Northern Ireland. Each of these remarkable stories serves as a reflection—and celebration—of our nation’s shared values, ever more meaningful as we debate the issue of immigration today. Through the battles they fought, the cases they argued, the words they wrote, and the lives they touched, the nine Irish men and women profiled in these pages left behind something greater than their individual accomplishments—our America..

Biography & Autobiography

Texas Ranger | John Boessenecker

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The New York Times bestseller! “Frank Hamer, last of the old breed of Texas Rangers, has not fared well in history or popular culture. John Boessenecker now restores this incredible Ranger to his proper place alongside such fabled lawmen as Wyatt Earp and Eliot Ness. Here is a grand adventure story, told with grace and authority by a master historian of American law enforcement. Frank Hamer can rest easy as readers will finally learn the truth behind his amazing career, spanning the end of the Wild West through the bloody days of the gangsters.” --Paul Andrew Hutton, author of The Apache Wars To most Americans, Frank Hamer is known only as the “villain” of the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde. Now, in Texas Ranger, historian John Boessenecker sets out to restore Hamer’s good name and prove that he was, in fact, a classic American hero. From the horseback days of the Old West through the gangster days of the 1930s, Hamer stood on the front lines of some of the most important and exciting periods in American history. He participated in the Bandit War of 1915, survived the climactic gunfight in the last blood feud of the Old West, battled the Mexican Revolution’s spillover across the border, protected African Americans from lynch mobs and the Ku Klux Klan, and ran down gangsters, bootleggers, and Communists. When at last his career came to an end, it was only when he ran up against another legendary Texan: Lyndon B. Johnson. Written by one of the most acclaimed historians of the Old West, Texas Ranger is the first biography to tell the full story of this near-mythic lawman..

Fiction

Ulysses | James Joyce

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"I hold this book to be the most important expression which the present age has found; it is a book to which we are all indebted, and from which none of us can escape." T.S. Eliot Ulysses depicts a day in Leopold Bloom’s life, broken into episodes analogous to Homer’s Odyssey and related in rich, varied styles. Joyce’s novel is celebrated for its depth of learning, earthy humor, literary allusions and piercing insight into the human heart. First published in Paris in 1922 Ulysses was not published in the United States until 1934. Immediately recognized as an extraordinary work that both echoed the history of English literature and took it in new, unheralded directions, Joyce’s book was controversial. Its widespread release was initially slowed by censors nitpicking a few passages. The novel is challenging, in that it is an uncommon reader who will perceive all that Joyce has put into his pages upon first reading, but it is uniquely rewarding for anyone willing to follow where the author leads. Far more than a learned exercise in literary skill, Ulysses displays a sense of humor that ranges from delicate to roguish as well as sequences of striking beauty and emotion. Chief among the latter must be the novel’s climactic stream of consciousness step into the mind of the protagonist’s wife, Molly Bloom, whose open-hearted acceptance of life and love is among the most memorable and moving passages in English literature. With an eye-catching new cover, and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Ulysses is both modern and readable..

Literary Criticism

The Invention of the Oral | Paula McDowell

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Just as today’s embrace of the digital has sparked interest in the history of print culture, so in eighteenth-century Britain the dramatic proliferation of print gave rise to urgent efforts to historicize different media forms and to understand their unique powers. And so it was, Paula McDowell argues, that our modern concepts of oral culture and print culture began to crystallize, and authors and intellectuals drew on older theological notion of oral tradition to forge the modern secular notion of oral tradition that we know today. Drawing on an impressive array of sources including travel narratives, elocution manuals, theological writings, ballad collections, and legal records, McDowell re-creates a world in which everyone from fishwives to philosophers, clergymen to street hucksters, competed for space and audiences in taverns, marketplaces, and the street. She argues that the earliest positive efforts to theorize "oral tradition," and to depict popular oral culture as a culture (rather than a lack of culture), were prompted less by any protodemocratic impulse than by a profound discomfort with new cultures of reading, writing, and even speaking shaped by print. Challenging traditional models of oral versus literate societies and key assumptions about culture’s ties to the spoken and the written word, this landmark study reorients critical conversations across eighteenth-century studies, media and communications studies, the history of the book, and beyond..