How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill
The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe

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The perfect St. Patrick's Day gift, and a book in the best tradition of popular history -- the untold story of Ireland's role in maintaining Western culture while the Dark Ages settled on Europe.

Every year millions of Americans celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but they may not be aware of how great an influence St. Patrick was on the subsequent history of civilization. Not only did he bring Christianity to Ireland, he instilled a sense of literacy and learning that would create the conditions that allowed Ireland to become "the isle of saints and scholars" -- and thus preserve Western culture while Europe was being overrun by barbarians.

In this entertaining and compelling narrative, Thomas Cahill tells the story of how Europe evolved from the classical age of Rome to the medieval era. Without Ireland, the transition could not have taken place. Not only did Irish monks and scribes maintain the very record of Western civilization -- copying manuscripts of Greek and Latin writers, both pagan and Christian, while libraries and learning on the continent were forever lost -- they brought their uniquely Irish world-view to the task.

As Cahill delightfully illustrates, so much of the liveliness we associate with medieval culture has its roots in Ireland. When the seeds of culture were replanted on the European continent, it was from Ireland that they were germinated.

In the tradition of Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror, How The Irish Saved Civilization reconstructs an era that few know about but which is central to understanding our past and our cultural heritage. But it conveys its knowledge with a winking wit that aptly captures the sensibility of the unsung Irish who relaunched civilization.

BONUS MATERIAL: This ebook edition includes an excerpt from Thomas Cahill's Heretics and Heroes.

About Thomas Cahill

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THOMAS CAHILL's appealing approach to distant history has won the attention of millions of readers in North America and beyond. Cahill is the author of five previous volumes in the Hinges of History series: How the Irish Saved Civilization, The Gifts of the Jews, Desire of the Everlasting Hills, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, and Mysteries of the Middle Ages. They have been bestsellers not only in the United States, but also in countries ranging from Italy to Brazil. His last book was A Saint on Death Row.

Author Residence: New York, NY
Published January 1, 2003 by Sceptre. 246 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Travel, Literature & Fiction, Self Help. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for How the Irish Saved Civilization

Kirkus Reviews

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Scholarship, humor, and a keen understanding of human nature combine in this history of Ireland and her rarely acknowledged contribution to European culture.

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Publishers Weekly

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An account of the pivotal role played by Irish monks in transcribing and preserving Classical civilization during the Dark Ages.

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Publishers Weekly

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With the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century, Ireland, according to the author, ``had one moment of unblemished glory''-when Irish monks copied almost all of Western classical poetry, history, oratory, philosophy and commentary.

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The Economist

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American drones are being used to kill suspected terrorists in entirely too cavalier a fashion, killing at a minimum hundreds of innocent civilians, and the administration's procedures for deciding when to authorise drone strikes are opaque and lack due process.

Mar 07 2013 | Read Full Review of How the Irish Saved Civilizat...

Daily Kos

I don't want to talk about how nifty-neato everything would be if everybody just came together and saw things the way we do, because - while it'd be wonderful - it's never going to happen.

Jun 13 2013 | Read Full Review of How the Irish Saved Civilizat...

Mars Hill Online

Even if his credit gives way to hyperbole, How the Irish Saved Civilization sheds light on the unsung Irish and the fascinating characters of the time.

Dec 11 2011 | Read Full Review of How the Irish Saved Civilizat...

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