A friend of mine who likely had no idea that audiobooks are my jam, asked the other day if I would like to have some that she has listened to and has sitting around. I said, “sure” thinking that there may be something I like in the bunch… was there ever! The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero by Timothy Egan was the first one I started and it is great!

This is a book that tells the unlikely story of a well-to-do young Irishman who walks away from his family’s wealth and status to stand up for the rights of the Irish under Great Britain’s rule. It is a story that spans the history of the struggles between that oppressor and her subject. It includes some information I did not realize about the The Great Hunger (Potato Famine) and Great Britain’s role in the deaths of millions of the Irish – despite the fact that enough food was grown in Ireland to avoid the disaster. The Irish were not allowed to eat their own bounty because as serfs to the British… none of it belonged to them.

Thomas Francis Meagher roused his countrymen with his written word and speeches and for suggesting that Ireland be free, was sent to the prison colony of Australia. This book tells of his time in that hell-hole and beyond to America.

Not only did Meagher (pronounced MAHR) live a life with enough adventure and consequence for one lifetime, but easily two or three others as he then went on to play a pivotal role in the fight to preserve the Union of the United States during our Civil War. This is a book not only worthy of a film… but an entire series would be hard-pressed to do justice to the many lives he managed to squeeze into just 43 years.

This is a great read! I am grateful for the more thorough understanding of that period of history it provides.

PS. If anyone (local) wants the CDs, let me know. I was asked only one thing when she gave them to me – that I pay it forward.

by Chris Doelle