The Immortal Irishman by Timothy Egan
The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero

71%

9 Critic Reviews

Fans of his other narrative nonfiction (“The Worst Hard Time,” “The Big Burn,”) will see him work his magic again to let one story illustrate the larger convulsions of history and their legacy for today’s world.
-Star Tribune

Synopsis

"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
 
 

About Timothy Egan

See more books from this Author
TIMOTHY EGAN is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, a New York Times columnist, winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in nonfiction, and the author of seven books, most recently Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher. His previous books include The Worst Hard Time, which won a National Book Award, and the national bestseller The Big Burn. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
 
Published March 1, 2016 by Mariner Books. 389 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Biographies & Memoirs, War, Sports & Outdoors, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Apr 03 2016
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Immortal Irishman
All: 9 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Excellent
on Feb 16 2016

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.

Read Full Review of The Immortal Irishman: The Ir... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Below average
on Mar 28 2016

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...

Read Full Review of The Immortal Irishman: The Ir... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Thomas McClung on Mar 28 2016

This is an easily read and informative book that will hold the reader’s interest, given the nature of its subject. If there is any criticism to be made, it would be that there are only a relatively few illustrations interspersed through the book. One would have hoped to see more.

Read Full Review of The Immortal Irishman: The Ir... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by Maureen Mccarthy on Mar 01 2016

Fans of his other narrative nonfiction (“The Worst Hard Time,” “The Big Burn,”) will see him work his magic again to let one story illustrate the larger convulsions of history and their legacy for today’s world.

Read Full Review of The Immortal Irishman: The Ir... | See more reviews from Star Tribune

Book Reporter

Good
Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds on Mar 17 2016

Egan rescues this flawed but magnetic hero from obscurity and tells his story in crackling prose, untinted by blather or blarney. THE IMMORTAL IRISHMAN is a real achievement in biography, history and storytelling.

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Christian Science Monitor

Above average
Reviewed by Kevin O’Kelly on Mar 15 2016

Egan does justice to the adventurous episodes of Meagher’s life with narrative flair, and his recounting of prejudice against immigrants of a seemingly alien religion could not be more timely. But Egan’s too close to his subjects...

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Dallas News

Above average
Reviewed by DAVID TARRANT on Mar 13 2016

Egan combines deep reporting with masterful storytelling to chronicle this bigger-than-life figure. In the last chapter, he uses his reporting skills to bring new evidence to explain how Meagher died, which has always been surrounded by mystery.

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The Missoulian

Above average
Reviewed by MARA PANICH-CROUCH on Apr 03 2016

"The Immortal Irishman" is an exploration of a legend, an epic tale of a man who lived by character and dedication to his country and his ideals. Although it was the history that grabbed me more than the writing, the historical information makes this book well worth reading.

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https://www.bostonglobe.com

Above average
Reviewed by David M. Shribman on Mar 05 2016

“The Immortal Irishman’’ is an old-fashioned tale of tall talk, high ideals, and irresistible appeal. It is the story of a Waterford man, born in 1823, of crystal-eyed passion and indomitable will.

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