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The Immortal Irishman

The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


"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


From Publishers Weekly

Dec 14, 2015 – Those who have heard of Thomas Francis Meagher (1823 1867) will likely know him as a Union general in the Civil War, but Egan (The Big Burn), National Book Award winner for The Worst Hard Time, moves Meagher convincingly into the ranks of patriots of both the U.S. and Ireland. With novelistic skill, Egan fashions a dizzying tableau of the life of his restless subject. Meagher was an Irish revolutionary who was condemned to death but then exiled to Tasmania. He then escaped to America, where he lived in New York City and became active in Irish-American politics. He was later appointed general of the Union army's Irish Brigade (which helped knit oft-scorned Irish immigrants into the American fabric) and became a heroic war leader, before becoming lieutenant governor of the Montana Territory. Egan also reexamines evidence about Meagher's death in Montana, convincingly concluding that he was assassinated by frontier vigilantes resentful of his determination to create the rule of law. As history, Egan's book is solid; as storytelling, it's captivating. 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, the patriot of two countries, faithful to each to his last.

Customer Reviews


Excellently written history of the Irish nation and their contributions to our early nation. Their role in the civil war was most insightful all centering around a man that I had never heard of but who left a memorable history.

Amazing True Story

That will leave you wanting to know more. Timothy Egan did a great job on this book, research was impeccable.

Exceptional Book

Egan does a masterful job of telling the story of an Irish rebel who I had never heard of before and which I am ashamed to admit. Full of adventure and history while spread across the globe in a fascinating true life tale. Admirable of Egan to convey his story in 320 pages too!

The Immortal Irishman
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  • $15.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: United States
  • Published: Mar 07, 2017
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Seller: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
  • Print Length: 384 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings