The Immortal Irishman

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  • About the Book: 

    ISBN9780544944831

    In the New York Times bestseller The Immortal Irishman, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Timothy Egan illuminates the dawn of the great Irish American story, with all its twists and triumphs, through the life of one heroic man.

    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, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Facing the Mountain

    About Dave Nettle:

    Dave Nettle is a Tahoe local backcountry ski and rock climbing guide at Alpenglow Expeditions in Olympic Valley. His passion for climbing, backcountry skiing and adventure travel has led him to many of the most spectacular mountain ranges and beautiful cultures of the world. Over the past five decades his high mountain climbing expeditions have included many, many days tent bound and waiting out storms which he considers to be, "excellent opportunities to expand one's literary reading horizons...". 

    When I think of the word "resilient" I imagine bouncing back and recovering from both physical and mental challenges, and not just to recover, but to grow and gain character from the adversity you encounter.

    Why Dave Chose This Book:

    The Immortal Irishman by Timothy Egan follows the life of Thomas Meagher who, in the early and mid 1800's, was determined to help the Irish regain sovereignty from the British rule that was turning his country into a land of starving serfs. Unlike many of the "heroic leader" historic novels I have read, Meagher is not someone rising up from the slums, but rather is a man from a wealthy and privileged family who could have bailed out of the revolutionary spotlight at any time. He never does. I highly recommend this book not only for the story of one individual's resilience, but the broader perspective of cultural resilience. It highlights the courageous, bloody and heartbreaking role the newly landed Irish played as soldiers for the Union and, very possibly, in  the ultimate outcome of the Civil War. To me the novel is a sweeping tale of an individual being able to bounce back and hold true to what they believe in despite a lifetime interwoven with oppression, incarceration and resistance.