counter create hit When the Irish Invaded Canada: The Incredible True Story of the Civil War Veterans Who Fought for Ireland's Freedom - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

When the Irish Invaded Canada: The Incredible True Story of the Civil War Veterans Who Fought for Ireland's Freedom

Availability: Ready to download

The outlandish, untold story of the Irish American revolutionaries who tried to free Ireland by invading Canada Just over a year after Robert E. Lee relinquished his sword, a band of Union and Confederate veterans dusted off their guns. But these former foes had no intention of reigniting the Civil War. Instead, they were bound by a common goal: to seize the British provinc The outlandish, untold story of the Irish American revolutionaries who tried to free Ireland by invading Canada Just over a year after Robert E. Lee relinquished his sword, a band of Union and Confederate veterans dusted off their guns. But these former foes had no intention of reigniting the Civil War. Instead, they were bound by a common goal: to seize the British province of Canada and to hold it hostage until the independence of Ireland was secured. By the time that these invasions--known together as the Fenian Raids--began in 1866, Ireland had been Britain's unwilling colony for seven hundred years. Thousands of Civil War veterans considered themselves Irishmen before they were Americans. They were those who fled rather than perish in the wake of the Great Hunger, and now they took their cue from a previous generation of successful American revolutionaries. With the tacit support of the U.S. government, the Fenian Brotherhood established a state in exile, planned prison breaks, weathered infighting, stockpiled weapons, and assassinated enemies. Defiantly, this motley group, including a one-armed war hero, an English spy infiltrating rebel forces, and a radical who staged his own funeral, managed to seize a piece of Canada--if only for three days. When the Irish Invaded Canada is the untold tale of a band of fiercely patriotic Irish Americans and their chapter in Ireland's centuries-long fight for independence. Inspiring, lively, and often undeniably comic, this is a story of fighting for what's right in the face of impossible odds.


Compare
Ads Banner

The outlandish, untold story of the Irish American revolutionaries who tried to free Ireland by invading Canada Just over a year after Robert E. Lee relinquished his sword, a band of Union and Confederate veterans dusted off their guns. But these former foes had no intention of reigniting the Civil War. Instead, they were bound by a common goal: to seize the British provinc The outlandish, untold story of the Irish American revolutionaries who tried to free Ireland by invading Canada Just over a year after Robert E. Lee relinquished his sword, a band of Union and Confederate veterans dusted off their guns. But these former foes had no intention of reigniting the Civil War. Instead, they were bound by a common goal: to seize the British province of Canada and to hold it hostage until the independence of Ireland was secured. By the time that these invasions--known together as the Fenian Raids--began in 1866, Ireland had been Britain's unwilling colony for seven hundred years. Thousands of Civil War veterans considered themselves Irishmen before they were Americans. They were those who fled rather than perish in the wake of the Great Hunger, and now they took their cue from a previous generation of successful American revolutionaries. With the tacit support of the U.S. government, the Fenian Brotherhood established a state in exile, planned prison breaks, weathered infighting, stockpiled weapons, and assassinated enemies. Defiantly, this motley group, including a one-armed war hero, an English spy infiltrating rebel forces, and a radical who staged his own funeral, managed to seize a piece of Canada--if only for three days. When the Irish Invaded Canada is the untold tale of a band of fiercely patriotic Irish Americans and their chapter in Ireland's centuries-long fight for independence. Inspiring, lively, and often undeniably comic, this is a story of fighting for what's right in the face of impossible odds.

30 review for When the Irish Invaded Canada: The Incredible True Story of the Civil War Veterans Who Fought for Ireland's Freedom

  1. 5 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    The Fenian raids of the Fenian Brotherhood which fought to bring pressure on UK to withdraw from Ireland was the central focus of this new work by Christopher Klein and it was both powerful and captivating. I enjoy reading historical works especially memoirs and biographies so when this came up I knew it would be a great fit especially with St. Patrick's Day coming soon. Boy was it riveting to learn all that occurred during this time frame between 1866 and 1871 - a time when many were starving in The Fenian raids of the Fenian Brotherhood which fought to bring pressure on UK to withdraw from Ireland was the central focus of this new work by Christopher Klein and it was both powerful and captivating. I enjoy reading historical works especially memoirs and biographies so when this came up I knew it would be a great fit especially with St. Patrick's Day coming soon. Boy was it riveting to learn all that occurred during this time frame between 1866 and 1871 - a time when many were starving in the Great Hunger (potato famine) while joining the army in hopes of getting England to negotiate in turning Ireland into a republic. Irish Immigrants flocked to Canada in droves but were not successful largely in part to being overly optimistic yet poorly organized. Meanwhile, President Johnson of the United States decided best to take a more passive interest as it wasn't until Grant came on scene that the US became more actively engaged . Perhaps because Americans remembered the past and how England supported the South during the Civil War but also because Americans remembered the British traveled through Canada and burned Washington DC nearly to the ground. Rather than cause a separation and break away between Canada and England the end result was they became closer resulting in new heroes of the Irish Independence Movement and the fight to restore their heritage as their courage and bravery rage on. Freedom from British rule was just part of the story with many active leaders pressing the issue including John Riley and the St. Patrick Brigade which was mentioned in heavy detail. The research was enormous and well written and actively engaging. Thank you to the Author and Publisher for this ARC in exchange for this honest review. A pleasant and enjoyable surprise.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    Irish Americans one year after the Civil War invaded Canada and tried to hold it hostage until Britain freed Ireland. A bit of a crazy story that’s true.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    This is really well researched and well done. I had no idea about this. It did feel like there was of the Irish constantly stepping on rakes over and over. The worst part is, in many of the cases, they put the rakes there in the first place.

  4. 4 out of 5

    R.J. Heller

    The Irish invaded Canada? I was captured, in a sense, by the title; and, at the end of the experience, happy I read Christopher Klein’s latest book, When The Irish Invaded Canada: The Incredible True Story of the Civil War Veterans Who Fought for Ireland’s Freedom. Klein lives in Andover, Massachusetts, and has authored four books previous to this publication. He has written for the New York Times, Boston Globe, as well as, Smithsonian.com and History.com. This is a story I was not aware had eve The Irish invaded Canada? I was captured, in a sense, by the title; and, at the end of the experience, happy I read Christopher Klein’s latest book, When The Irish Invaded Canada: The Incredible True Story of the Civil War Veterans Who Fought for Ireland’s Freedom. Klein lives in Andover, Massachusetts, and has authored four books previous to this publication. He has written for the New York Times, Boston Globe, as well as, Smithsonian.com and History.com. This is a story I was not aware had even occurred. And to find that it not only took place shortly after the end of the Civil War, but that elements of the “invasion”, —subsequently referred to as the “Fenian Raids”— transpired in Maine and Canada, specifically Eastport and Campobello, surprised me even more. Providing an excellent backstory supported by historical data on the epic struggle between the Irish and English (Great Britain), Klein, no doubt, has done his homework, as he expeditiously brings the reader to the crux of the story. Beginning just 13 months after the end of the Civil War, soldiers from both North and South— having laid down their arms— begin the arduous challenge of trying to put the Union back together. But, for Irish Americans, there is a new cause; to finally secure the independence of Ireland from British rule. To do this, the leadership of the Fenian Brotherhood, a precursor to future Irish organizations seeking independence, sees an opportunity to once again strike a blow against Great Britain by seizing Canadian territory and simultaneously sparking an uprising on their native soil of Ireland. The term Fenian is derived from the Fenian Cycle in Irish Literature, which centers on the deeds of the legendary Finn MacCumhaill and his volunteer corps of warriors known as Fianna Eireann. A person of the Fenian Brotherhood was a member of an Irish nationalist society active in the United States and Ireland. Fenian leadership in the US fell to John O’Mahony, and in Ireland to James Stephens. In the book’s prologue, Klein introduces 32 year-old Colonel John O’Neill as he stands with his men on the banks of the Niagara River in May of 1866. After a six-mile march through Buffalo, O’Neill and his men, dressed in tattered uniforms with green ribbons tied to their hats and buttonholes, make ready to cross and strike the first blow against the British in a fight for Irish independence. It is O’Neill who Klein uses to effectively sum up the pent up feelings and attitudes, of over 700 years of English rule over the Irish. The once Civil War officer who took a Confederate bullet in defense of the Union, O’Neill was now fulfilling a childhood dream. “The governing passion of my life apart from my duty to God is to be at the head of an Irish Army battling against England for Ireland’s rights. For this I live, and for this if necessary I am willing to die.” What O’Neill’s passionate cry embodies, and what Klein so adeptly communicates throughout the pages of this book, is the essence of a grand story— “to capture the British colony on America’s northern border, hold it hostage, and ransom it for Ireland’s independence.” Touching on topics of immigration, famine (Great Hunger), political, economic and racial injustices, Klein’s work exposes a myriad of degradations which serve to only fuel Irish contempt for Great Britain, and ignite numerous attempts to establish their own country under their own rule. To do this, leaders of the Irish resistance decide to promote their cause, strike from both Ireland and the U.S. and as recruitment begins, plans are developed to establish Ireland as a free and independent country. Irish Americans begin an arduous journey back across the Atlantic to add to the already growing numbers of men in Ireland. Likewise, here in the US, men in the Irish neighborhoods of cities across the Northeast join the ranks of the brotherhood, and make ready for whatever is to come. John O’Mahony, a Gaelic scholar born in County Cork, Ireland, emigrates from Ireland to the US in 1853 to form the Fenian Brotherhood operating in New York City. James Stephens, born in Kilkenny, Ireland, who was political out of the gate, forms the Irish Republican Brotherhood. These two men then organize and recruit members for a two-prong assault in the US and Ireland against Great Britain. Soon after, a splinter faction forms when O’Mahony becomes complacent. William Roberts heads that group, and begins siphoning members and money with plans to invade Canada. But, seeing his leadership threatened, O’Mahony reluctantly approves a new strategy proposed by Bernard Doran Killian, to seize Campobello Island and use it as a base of operations for a much larger invasion. The base of operations for this invasion is Eastport. Klein devotes an entire chapter on this mission, giving a good glimpse into the inner-workings of the developing resistance and to the mood of Eastport residents. The occupation in preparation to take and hold Campobello was one of five raids to be made from the US into Canada between 1866 and 1871. The series of incursions involved New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec (twice) and Manitoba. Klein’s detail on the events, major players, the historical underpinnings from both the US and British governments provides a wealth of information, allowing this period in history to surface as if reading a novel. The book’s flow and descriptive narrative with its unvarnished views of an Irish American trail by land and sea from a decimated homeland to the grimy streets of New York City is quite good. This story has it all—Civil War veterans and a one-armed war hero, spy games, counter-intelligence, a radical’s faked funeral, tongue-in-cheek US support, stockpiling of weapons, planned assassinations; culminating in what is today regarded as a sometimes comical insurrection of one against another. Yet the deeper message Klein leaves with the reader, is that this is an important piece of history, and that the struggle of some fiercely patriotic Irish Americans was just one chapter of a much longer story about independence and a fight against impossible odds.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Seems to be well-researched, but it was a slog to get through for me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    I won this book on Goodreads in exchange for an honest review. I feel like a poor amateur historian as I has no idea that Irish soldiers attempted to invade Canada in order to help gain Irish independence. This was a very informative book with lots of detail. Well written and easy to read/follow.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne

    This is a Goodreads win review. History is my favorite thing to read about. This book is about an event in history that was not well known and I have never heard about it. After the Civil War was over soldiers from both sides decided to go to Canada and get them away from the British control and force England to make Ireland a Republic. These became known as the Fenian raids. These Irish fighters were still upset over the Potato famine that caused them to leave Ireland in the first place. The pl This is a Goodreads win review. History is my favorite thing to read about. This book is about an event in history that was not well known and I have never heard about it. After the Civil War was over soldiers from both sides decided to go to Canada and get them away from the British control and force England to make Ireland a Republic. These became known as the Fenian raids. These Irish fighters were still upset over the Potato famine that caused them to leave Ireland in the first place. The plan did not work out due top many factors but the story is excellent. My grandpa came from Ireland to Canada where he played hockey before leaving for California.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sam Larson

    Rarely covered topic and glad I read it!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Leigh Anne

    Wait, what? Why??? Well, why not? If you were Irish or an Irish-American immigrant, you'd have a bone to pick with the British oppressors. And if you can't hit 'em at home, might as well hit 'em next door. This meticulously researched study of a little-known chunk of American history (there were actually multiple invasions, each one increasingly more ridiculous) is both fascinating and hilarious in its unfortunate futility. Not that it seemed futile at the time. Shortly after the Civil War an ugly Wait, what? Why??? Well, why not? If you were Irish or an Irish-American immigrant, you'd have a bone to pick with the British oppressors. And if you can't hit 'em at home, might as well hit 'em next door. This meticulously researched study of a little-known chunk of American history (there were actually multiple invasions, each one increasingly more ridiculous) is both fascinating and hilarious in its unfortunate futility. Not that it seemed futile at the time. Shortly after the Civil War an ugly streak of anti-Catholic sentiment reared its ugly head, thanks to the rising number of Irish immigrants. Not that they WANTED to flee their homeland starving, mind you. But America wasn't much better for the Irish, at first, until they got their act together and started organizing politically, with the help of exiles from the motherland eager to stir up shit in the new world. Invading Canada seemed like a good idea simply because it was RIGHT THERE. What better way to send a statement to the Crown than to invade its territory next door? A more conservative wing of the Fenian Brotherhood urged prudence, and the road to invading Canada was both long and twisted. Klein does a great job elucidating the political machinations both within and without the Brotherhood that led to the first invasion of Canada. Notice that I said "first." In increasingly more ridiculous attempts, the Irish-Americans and their Irish supporters repeatedly tried to invade Canada. Officially the American government had to disapprove, citing neutrality laws. Realistically, however, they would've jumped at the chance to take Canada for themselves, so they decided to see how it played out. Though each attempt started with high hopes, something -- British spies, lack of arms and food, or smaller than expected numbers shot the Irish in the foot every time, sometimes with unintentionally comic results. By the fifth or sixth time someone tries to "invade" Canada, you will find yourself laughing and saying, "Really, guys?" Honestly, they shot themselves in the foot right in the first attempt: a number of Black Civil War veterans approached the Fenians and asked to join in the fight. The Irish? Said no. Because racism. Sigh. This book is a mixture of military tactics and political intrigue, all told in a spirited style that keeps the plot perking along even when the infighting gets ridiculous. You know how it ends -- obviously Canada is not now an Irish province -- but getting there is the fun part, even if you don't normally like military history. Recommended for libraries where micro-histories and/or political non-fiction is popular.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brenna

    I won this book through Goodreads Giveaways (my first win!) and my wee little Irish American heart was so pleased to get the opportunity to read about the Irish right around St. Patrick's Day! I had never heard of the Irish invasions of Canada, so the title alone intrigued me. I'm also not much of a history buff, but because of my Irish heritage, I was excited to learn more. I'll start with the negatives and why I didn't give this 5 stars. Like I said, history is not my favorite, especially war I won this book through Goodreads Giveaways (my first win!) and my wee little Irish American heart was so pleased to get the opportunity to read about the Irish right around St. Patrick's Day! I had never heard of the Irish invasions of Canada, so the title alone intrigued me. I'm also not much of a history buff, but because of my Irish heritage, I was excited to learn more. I'll start with the negatives and why I didn't give this 5 stars. Like I said, history is not my favorite, especially war history and battle stories. So, the book moved a little slow for me while detailing all of the different splits between the groups, but at least the battle scenes went pretty fast. Although, that was probably due to the constant failing of the Fenians to successfully invade Canada and use it as leverage to free Ireland. It was a bit disappointing that the Fenians did not seem to make much progress, although the author credits them with inspiring the next generation of Irish republicans to finally free Ireland from British rule. My favorite part about this book was the way the author describes each person's background, because it gives insight into why they were so passionate about freeing Ireland. Of course I had heard of the potato famine and knew that millions of Irish died or left the country, but reading about the millions of people who fled to America gave me a new perspective. It also gave me a new fun fact to pull out on St. Patrick's Day: before the Great Hunger, the average Irish working class man ate FOURTEEN POUNDS OF POTATOES A DAY! And the average working class woman ate eleven pounds per day! It made a lot more sense why the famine destroyed Ireland, and why so many blamed the British. Several times during this book, I imagined the figures as characters in a movie, sometimes comedically failing to assert themselves as heroes of Ireland, other times as inspirational figures who overcame hardship and fought for what they believed in. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys learning about history, or anyone who wants to connect to their Irish heritage. Or anyone who likes potatoes!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Anne Morgan

    An interesting, well-researched book, Klein tells the little known story of Irishmen fighting for Ireland's freedom in America. Plenty of context is provided to understand Irish and English feelings (both politically and personally), culminating in the Great Hunger when millions of Irish died and millions travelled to America to avoid the potato famine. Irishmen fought on both sides of the American Civil War, but many saw this battle as a training ground for a larger, more important, war- the wa An interesting, well-researched book, Klein tells the little known story of Irishmen fighting for Ireland's freedom in America. Plenty of context is provided to understand Irish and English feelings (both politically and personally), culminating in the Great Hunger when millions of Irish died and millions travelled to America to avoid the potato famine. Irishmen fought on both sides of the American Civil War, but many saw this battle as a training ground for a larger, more important, war- the war for Irish freedom from England. As with any story of a large group of people, political and idealogical differences divided those planning to free Ireland. The focus here, as the title suggests, is the decision by Irish nationalists to hurt England by invading Canada. Three main invasion plans over a few years led to battles, the breaking of neutrality laws, political fighting, and eventually the largest unintended consequence of all: Canada as a separate nation. The political maneuverings were fascinating, with America working secretly (or not) to claim Canada for itself, Irish nationalists trying to hold land hostage to negotiate for Ireland's independence, and individuals searching for glory. Klein does an excellent job showing the reader how the seemingly ridiculous plan to take Canada by a group of overly optimistic individuals directly influenced the twentieth century Irish rebellions and led to the country we know today. Fascinating and fast-paced, "When the Irish Invaded Canada" is a must read for anyone interested in nineteenth century America and Canada, let alone the evolution of the Irish national movement towards independence. I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    While this book tells a fascinating story, I found it dragging in spots. The author was attempting to show the interconnection between the rebellious folks in Ireland who wanted to free their nation and the exiles and emigrants who ended up in North America. The problem was that the telling of the story made the Irish Americans seem like bickering idiots for several decades. Now, maybe they were, at least in part, but it seems like the real failure of the Fenian movement in North America was to While this book tells a fascinating story, I found it dragging in spots. The author was attempting to show the interconnection between the rebellious folks in Ireland who wanted to free their nation and the exiles and emigrants who ended up in North America. The problem was that the telling of the story made the Irish Americans seem like bickering idiots for several decades. Now, maybe they were, at least in part, but it seems like the real failure of the Fenian movement in North America was to present these folks with a viable plan. Apparently, for many of the men who had seen combat, the idea of invading Canada and holding it hostage for the eventual freedom of Ireland didn't sound like a good idea. Of the thousands of men to whom the idea needed to appeal, in order for even a small invasion to work, only hundreds showed to actually do the invading, and they weren't really too keen on the idea. Because the focus of most of the book was on the leaders of these failed attempts, there was only a limited amount of time spent on the actual struggles in Ireland, and some odd diversions into the settlement of Nebraska. Thus, a book about three very brief failed invasions of Canada [one of which appears to have misjudged the actual location of the Canadian border]is over 360 pages, including notes, bibliography and index. That made the pacing of the book a tad slow. On the other hand, the historical context and some of the quotations were wonderful, and overall the book was worth reading. Just don't expect a quick page-turner of a book, filled with excitement. No, it's more about the context in which that excitement should have happened.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sean Meagher

    After reading much about Thomas Francis Meagher and the Irish during the Civil War, this book provides a glimpse into the events that would take place soon after. The rebel group known as the Fenians hatched a brilliant plan to invade British owned Canada, then known as British North America, and relinquish the land only in exchange for Irish independence from the 700 year rule of the British. Though things begin with a handful of triumphant surprising victories, disorganization and dwindling in After reading much about Thomas Francis Meagher and the Irish during the Civil War, this book provides a glimpse into the events that would take place soon after. The rebel group known as the Fenians hatched a brilliant plan to invade British owned Canada, then known as British North America, and relinquish the land only in exchange for Irish independence from the 700 year rule of the British. Though things begin with a handful of triumphant surprising victories, disorganization and dwindling interest among the Irish Americans soon lead to a series of follies each more ridiculous than the last. The venture reaches its near comical breaking point when Fenian leader, John O’Neil leads his men to an attempted capture of a British outpost, only to not just be handily defeated, but to also learn that their coordinates were off, and the base they had attempted to siege was an American one...they hadn’t even yet reached Canada. Though the second half of the book plays out like a comedy of errors, we are left to sadly admire the desperation of a people who want nothing more than freedom from their oppressors. I recommend reading this along with the Immortal Irishman in order to get the entire picture of the time period. Thomas Meagher was the perfect highly intelligent, inspiring hero in comparison to O’Neil’s naïveté and foolishness. Even so, through his defeats and humiliating later days, you have to admire his fighting spirit.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Casey Wheeler

    This book is well written and researched. It covers the numerous attempts of a group of Irish immigrants who try and invade Canada in order to take it over and force England to negoiate turning Ireland into a republic. This all takes place shortly after the civil war when groups of Irishmen who fought on both sides of the war join the cause. They were not successful due to the fact that their leadership was overly optomistic and poorly organized. At the start the United States took a passive/sup This book is well written and researched. It covers the numerous attempts of a group of Irish immigrants who try and invade Canada in order to take it over and force England to negoiate turning Ireland into a republic. This all takes place shortly after the civil war when groups of Irishmen who fought on both sides of the war join the cause. They were not successful due to the fact that their leadership was overly optomistic and poorly organized. At the start the United States took a passive/supportive interest under President Andrew Johnson, but was more realistic under President Grant. Instead of breaking Canada away from England, they caused the provinces to unite more closely. I recommend this book to anyone who had an interest in Irish history or an interest in a piece of hidden United States history. I received a free Kindle copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon and my fiction book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook and Twitter pages.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Hogan

    Finished When The Irish Invaded Canada: The Incredible True Story of the Civil War Veterans Who Fought for Ireland’s Freedom by Christopher Klein. My Canadian and Irish ancestry attracted me to this story. The so-called Fenian raids, Irish Civil War Veterans attacking Canada actually did happen including two sieges originating in St Albans, VT. The raids had a far-reaching impact but not in the manner the Irish leaders intended nor on their timetable. The Irish incursions took place in the post Finished When The Irish Invaded Canada: The Incredible True Story of the Civil War Veterans Who Fought for Ireland’s Freedom by Christopher Klein. My Canadian and Irish ancestry attracted me to this story. The so-called Fenian raids, Irish Civil War Veterans attacking Canada actually did happen including two sieges originating in St Albans, VT. The raids had a far-reaching impact but not in the manner the Irish leaders intended nor on their timetable. The Irish incursions took place in the post Civil War period when the Union was highly upset with Britain and Canada for their support of the Confederate cause. The ultimate ambition to use Canada as ransom with the British to achieve Irish Home Rule was not attained in that time but set the stage for its ultimate success in the twentieth century. This book weaves the Famine, Canadian Confederation, many colorful Irish characters, the US political climate under Andrew Johnson and Ulysses S Grant into a wonderful picture of that time; great book!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Received an advanced copy in exchange for a fair review. When the Irish Invaded Canada (an amazing title) is about exactly what it says: the time the Irish made a series of attempts to battle the British on British soil as part of a longshot attempt to gain freedom for their homeland. Klein does an excellent job of providing quick but effective context about Ireland's history and politics (could actually stand to give a bit more, actually) and what was going on around the world. I had no idea the Received an advanced copy in exchange for a fair review. When the Irish Invaded Canada (an amazing title) is about exactly what it says: the time the Irish made a series of attempts to battle the British on British soil as part of a longshot attempt to gain freedom for their homeland. Klein does an excellent job of providing quick but effective context about Ireland's history and politics (could actually stand to give a bit more, actually) and what was going on around the world. I had no idea the fight for Ireland's independence had such extreme and lasting geo-political implications and learned SO MUCH. My one complaint is the "characters" felt underdeveloped. In laying out such a thorough history, Klein doesn't spend as much time as I would like on the people during key moments. This keeps the plot moving but I would have liked more. Overall, what a cool little microhistory on what was a big damn deal in the 1860s and 1870s but is now forgotten.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    A well-researched and well-written account of a largely forgotten chapter of trans-Atlantic history. A few minor factual inaccuracies, usually limited to casual asides (for instance, the author claims the Fenians captured "the banner" of the Queen's Own Rifles at Ridgeway - but as a rifle regiment, they never had a flag or banner to be captured). There are also sometimes when the author really struggles to be objective - this is not to say historians should not be critical of English/British pol A well-researched and well-written account of a largely forgotten chapter of trans-Atlantic history. A few minor factual inaccuracies, usually limited to casual asides (for instance, the author claims the Fenians captured "the banner" of the Queen's Own Rifles at Ridgeway - but as a rifle regiment, they never had a flag or banner to be captured). There are also sometimes when the author really struggles to be objective - this is not to say historians should not be critical of English/British policy towards Ireland over the centuries, but Klein at times seems to think the multiple invasions of Canada completely justified (and while lamenting the deaths of Irishmen who died for their own country, glosses over the Canadians killed protecting theirs) - as President Grant is even quoted as saying in the book, "two wrongs don't make a right." Nevertheless, a largely enjoyable and informative read about some brave, albeit reckless, people, who helped shape the destinies of four nations.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tangled in Text

    History was my least favorite subject in school because I never felt like I could put it into practical terms. It always felt like a far off and far removed story but not a reality. Those stories are becoming more real the more I travel and visit the sites and museums where that history was made. It puts things in perspective and I was always a more visual learner, so now that I'm capable of going out and exploring on my own I'm ready to learn. I barely remember US History let alone world histor History was my least favorite subject in school because I never felt like I could put it into practical terms. It always felt like a far off and far removed story but not a reality. Those stories are becoming more real the more I travel and visit the sites and museums where that history was made. It puts things in perspective and I was always a more visual learner, so now that I'm capable of going out and exploring on my own I'm ready to learn. I barely remember US History let alone world history, so I had never even heard of these Fenian Raids and it was great to learn about this piece of our puzzle. It was presented in a very light and theatrical way that actually drew my attention and put it on a reel in my mind to let me visualize timelines and scenes and helped me really connect with this story.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    Entertaining and educational. I had never heard any of this. At times it's sadly comical, but the reader must keep in mind at all times the reasons for such a stubborn mindset, namely the horrors of the potato famine and the brutal centuries-long subjugation by the British. To be honest, they weren't treated much better when they arrived on our shores. They just happened to have a people foremost in their minds whom they hated more. Klein has laid out a fascinating tale in very readable form.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Philip

    Outstanding and informative read by Christopher Klein! Combining America's Civil War that had many Irish soldiers on both sides of the conflict and England's suppression of Ireland and it's march for freedom. An amazing work that depicts the infighting of the Irish cause, the battle plan's that went directly to England by an infiltrator, a English spy; and Canada's resolve to end the conflict. This work will capture a reader with it's prose and the will of the Irish people.

  21. 4 out of 5

    George Hamblen

    A great American History lesson we never learned in school. The amazing true story of Irish Americans invading Canada to force England to relinquish Ireland. Wow... By the end, I thought I was reading a Monty Python script.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bob Melia

    It was a good read about a lesser known part of both Irish and American history. The Irish struggle for freedom is lengthy and hear breaking. Thank you for making more of us aware by shedding light on this part of the struggle.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Leigh

    Most Canadians already have heard about the Fenian raids, and their role in spurning on Confederation. This detailed account is enjoyable since its content is the American and Irish perspective, providing a larger look at the geo-political context of the raids.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Faith 09

    A very interesting read. I had no idea this even happened.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    Fast paced with great storytelling. A little known part of history brought to life.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Keith

    Extremely well researched book on a bit of history I knew very little about. If you enjoy history, especially history that is rarely taught in schools, this book is well worth reading.

  27. 4 out of 5

    John M.

    Very interesting. Now I know why it took the Irish so many centuries to achieve independence!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Red

    "When the priests descend into the arena of worldly politics they throw off their sacred robes." John O'Mahony

  29. 4 out of 5

    Betty

    This is a very interesting account of the Fenians and I learned a great deal.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    A fascinating look at a historical event most Americans never learned about, but all Canadians remember

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.