REVIEWS

The Irish General: Thomas Francis Meagher by Paul R. Wylie

“I simply enjoyed the book, which radiated a powerful authority from its pages. Surely this will become the standard work on Meagher. It is evenhanded and fair and penetrating and answers many questions that had been in the back of my mind for years. It is a splendid book.”
– October 13, 2007, Richard S. Wheeler, winner of Spur and Owen Wister awards and author of over 50 novels including The Exile, a fact based novel on the life of Thomas Francis Meagher.

“The definitive biography of this nineteenth-century figure who played key roles in three major historical arenas, as the editor of the Irish News, an officer in the Civil War and as acting governor of Montana Territory.”
– Guidon Books, November 15, 2007

“Wylie, an independent scholar, carefully analyzes the facts about Meagher’s personal habits, his treatment of Native Americans, and the inner workings of his governance. The result brings new light to Meagher’s life and death and the ways of others either born or bred to be colonizers.”
– Reference and Research Book News, November 2007, volume 22 number 4. http://booknews.com/issues/ref-0711.pdf

“Meagher’s Montana years make compelling reading, especially as told by Paul R. Wylie. Footnotes attest to the range of resources tapped to build a rich portrait of a man who reinvents himself at will. Without such scholarly work, the book would seem like a wildly imaginative but highly entertaining novel. In the end, Wylie has written a colorful portrayal of a man and his times.”
– Chris Rubich, Billings Gazette, October 28, 2007.

“The Irish General is a nicely written and easy reading volume. The photographs are crisp and clear and include an especially grisly one depicting frontier justice.”
– Blake A. Magner, Civil War News – November 2007.

“This comprehensive, and eminently readable, biography of Meagher was written by Paul R. Wylie…[he] has included detailed endnotes and an extensive bibliography that will gratify anyone seeking to delve deeper in Meagher’s life.”
– Herbert White, History in Review, September 12, 2007. http://www.largeprintviews.com

“But anyone who studies his [Meagher’s] life as closely as Montana born author Paul R. Wylie has in his superb new biography… can’t help falling under his spell.”
– Cahir O’Doherty, Irish Voice, New York City, November 1, 2007.

“Few men in the nineteenth century had careers as meteoric as Thomas F. Meagher’s. In this engaging biography, Paul R. Wylie chronicles Meagher’s colorful life. An Irish revolutionary exiled to Tasmania, he escaped to New York City, where he rose and fell as a leader of the Irish-American community.”
– James M. McPherson, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era.

“An extremely well-written biography. Wylie has done more archival research than any of Meagher’s other biographers, resulting in new information and interpretation. Historians will learn much from this book, and general readers will love it.”
– David M. Emmons, author of The Butte Irish: Class and Ethnicity in an American Mining Town, 1875 – 1925.

“Wylie’s book is very well researched and well written. I not only learned about the very rich and flawed life of an infamous Irish general and rebel, but I also learned a good deal about the historical struggles in Ireland that inspired him.”
– Kelly McLeod, review on Amazon.com, September 5, 2007.

“This is the best book on General Meagher that is available today. The research is prodigious and the writing is excellent.”
– James P. McCorry review on Amazon.com, August 30, 2007.

“How…Thomas Francis Meagher … formed and led the famed Irish Brigade of the Army of the Potomac is ably told in Paul R. Wylie’s comprehensive biography.” “Wylie, a retired Montana attorney, covers the battles of the Irish Brigade in a clear, concise fashion.” “Wylie manages to sort through mounds of information from letters, diaries and contemporary newspaper accounts to present a balanced portrait of a complex and often contradictory life.”
– America’s Civil War, January 2008.

“The amount of research undertaken on this book is obvious and it has been put to extremely good effect. I enjoyed it very much and learnt a good deal about the Civil War and the workings of the army, as well as Meagher himself.”
– Dr. Susan Forsyth – Manor Cottage, United Kingdom.

“I am using The Irish General: Thomas Francis Meagher in my Historical Writing course in the spring semester. I am using it as an example of how to write history. The depth of research and willingness to discuss the evidence in detail is noteworthy. The book is an outstanding example for research and writing in the discipline.”
– Gordon Morris Bakken, Professor of History, California State University, Fullerton. December 22, 2007.

“Paul Wylie’s thorough, probably definitive study of Meagher’s turbulent life is especially valuable in illumination the period between the Irishman’s arrival in America and the opening of the Civil War. …The author has accomplished something quite significant in unraveling the incredibly tangled story of Meagher’ post-war career … The Irish General is a dependable and important book in several categories: the history of Irish nationalism, the Civil War, and the Territorial West.”
– Dale L. Walker, award winning author and past-president of Western Writers of America, review in Roundup Magazine, February 2008.

“The Irish General is the definitive biography of Thomas Francis Meagher, one of the most colorful and controversial figures in Irish, American and Montana history.”
– Norma Ashby review in Montana Magazine, January/February 2008.

“The Irish significance has been documented by some of Montana’s most prevalent historians and story tellers. These include: …The Irish General, Thomas Francis Meagher, by Paul Wylie, is a wonderful biography supported by Wylie’s exhaustive research.”
– Montana History Wiki / Monthly Feature , March 2008, published by Montana Historical Society Research Center.

“Author Paul R. Wylie has put to together a new book titled ‘The Irish General: Thomas Francis Meagher.’ Through painstaking research Wylie brings to light a great deal of little-known and often overlooked information on the man who commanded one of the most famous military units in the American Civil War, the Irish Brigade … a must-read for any Irish Brigade aficionado or the average person looking for a well-written and very interesting biography of a controversial figure.”
– Kristopher White, The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, VA., April 5, 2008. http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2008/042008/04052008/368407/printer_friendly

“Historians in Ireland, Tasmania and the United States, mainly concentrating on activities in their own regions, have researched biographies of the 1848 Young Irelanders transported to the Australian colonies … Now former
attorney Paul R. Wylie has published this biography of Thomas Meagher, sketching earlier tribulations but detailing more precisely his fifteen-year American career. Wylie has sought to unravel a most complex character.”
– Jennifer Harrison, Professor of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics, University of Queensland, Australian Journal of Politics and History: Volume 54, Number 1, 2008.

“Paul R. Wylie’s exhaustive research has allowed him to deliver a judicious account of this flawed and sometimes mercurial commander from Waterford, Ireland, who first became a household name during the Seven Days’ Campaign. …Wylie argues convincingly that Meagher’s ignominious end should not outweigh his lifetime accomplishments. Handsomely produced and well illustrated, The Irish General seems destined to endure as the definitive study of the dynamic and highly complex Meagher for some time.”
– Richard E. Welch, Civil War Times, August 2008.

“Wylie’s account of Meagher’s life is a full one, following the man through life, beginning with his childhood in Ireland, involvement in the Irish uprising in 1848 (which was very small and never had much chance of success). He then recounts his exile in Tasmania and escape. “Wylie is a judicious and intelligent biographer, and this is a careful, well-written biography… a valuable addition to any Civil War library.”
– David W. Nicholas, Montrose, California, review on Amazon.com, June 19, 2008.

“Author Paul Wylie concentrates on Meagher’s years spent as an editor in New York, a brigadier-general in the American War and finally as a politician in Montana, following his escape from Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) where he left a pregnant wife. The Irish General is a good read and provides much background on the 1848 revolutionaires.”
– Jennifer Harrison, Irish Roots, Issue No. 65, First Quarter, 2008.

“Wylie…presents and intriguing biography of this man who lived through key points in history, both in the United States and Europe…Exhibiting a plethora of research, Wylie’s biography is evenhanded and reflects no bias…This biography…is a welcome addition to all Civil War and Western Americana collections.”
– Patricia Ann Owens, Wabash Valley College, Wetern Historical Quarterly, Autumn 2008.

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