Tone: Historical Biography
Take Away: Irishman Thomas Francis Meagher was born into a life of wealth and privilege, but endured hardships and disgrace in his quest to free the Irish people from English oppression.
How I discovered this title: Book Club Selection
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Although well written and researched, I found this story emotionally difficult to read. The book contains graphic descriptions of the Irish people unnecessarily starving under English rule during the Irish potato famine, the inhumane treatment of British political prisoners in Tasmania, and the desperate conditions endured by soldiers of the American Civil War.
However, if you have the stomach for it, you WILL learn more about the history of the Irish people in America. Not that long ago, they were considered to be an immigration problem.
The Irish left their homes unwillingly, as convicts or rejects to Australia, men to build roads in the Antipodes, orphan girls to become house servants. And they left willingly, forming the scattered parts of the global Irish diaspora—the Lennons from County Down to Liverpool, eventually to produce John of the Beatles; the Kennedys from County Wexford to Boston, eventually to produce another John, the first Irish Catholic president of the United States; and the Kearneys from County Offaly to New York, to produce a second American president, Barack Obama.Timothy Egan
I think this story gives insight into the plight of displaced and migrant people-no matter their country of origin. It is a relevant read in our current political climate. Did you read this title? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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