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Review: "Immortal Irishman," by Timothy Egan


Thomas Meagher, an Irish orator who captured the hearts and minds of his fellow Irishmen during the 1840's, is the focus and driving force of this excellent book. With details garnered through countless letters, messages and speeches, Meagher comes to life in this colorful biography. First a revolutionary against British domination, then sentenced to jail in Tasmania with a difficult and daring escape, and eventually becoming the lauded and loved emigre to America, Meagher is a complicated and intriguing individual. Eventually, he becomes an amazing American hero as he leads the Irish Brigade into battle after battle of the Civil War. His ultimate mysterious death as the Governor of pre-state Montana ends the book on a somewhat sad and bittersweet note. An excellent and long read that details not only the life of Meagher, but sheds immense light on historical events from the domination of England over Ireland, the terrible horrors of the Potato Famine, and the true details of daily life during the Civil War, this is an exceptional book. The writing is accurate, true and direct. Details are specific and true. Any reader of histories will find this book to be invigorating and enlightening.