Irish Rebel: John Devoy and America's Fight for Ireland's Freedom

Irish Rebel: John Devoy and America's Fight for Ireland's Freedom

by Terry Golway
     
 

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In 1871, John Devoy, a young Irishman fighting for Irish independence, came to the United States in exile. Yet even while across the ocean, this Fenian greatly influenced Irish affairs. Terry Golway's suspenseful and assiduously researched biography of Devoy chronicles a lifetime of activism, in which he garnered tremendous financial and moral support within the… See more details below

Overview

In 1871, John Devoy, a young Irishman fighting for Irish independence, came to the United States in exile. Yet even while across the ocean, this Fenian greatly influenced Irish affairs. Terry Golway's suspenseful and assiduously researched biography of Devoy chronicles a lifetime of activism, in which he garnered tremendous financial and moral support within the United States for the cause in Ireland. Devoy was instrumental in both the Easter Rising of 1916 and the creation of the Irish Free State.

Editorial Reviews

David Murray
Golway...has produced a well-researched biography of a man whose life has hitherto been given too little attention.
The New York Times Book Review
Library Journal
New York Observer columnist Golway follows the stirring life of John Devoy, a convicted Fenian deported in 1871 to America, where he enjoyed a long, dedicated life as a journalist, publisher, political leader, and gun runner for Irish independence. (LJ 2/15/98)
Kirkus Reviews
The first full-length study of the Irish Samuel Adams—a master propagandist and organizational dervish who transformed the cause of his native land's freedom from poets' pipe dream to political reality. Jailed in 1866 for participating in the Fenian revolutionary brotherhood, Devoy (18421928) was released in 1871 and exiled for the remaining years of his sentence. Disembarking in New York, he used America as an effective beachhead from which to assault British misrule. For the next 50 years, Devoy influenced nearly every major aspect of Anglo-Irish and Irish-American relations through his work as an editor for the New York Herald, publisher of the Gaelic American, and leader of Clan na Gael, an Irish-American group that supplied the rebels with money and ammunition. In the late 1870s, he allied with Michael Davitt in championing land reform and with Charles Stewart Parnell in pushing for home rule. Golway, a New York Observer staffer and coauthor of The Irish in America (not reviewed), is as adept at detailing Devoy's daring as he is at explaining the background of Irish politics and Devoy's turf battles (Devoy could direct sharp, occasionally unfair invective at rebels like Eamon de Valera if he detected backsliding or harebrained schemes). Remarkably, 50 years after he first clipped the British lion's tail, he secretly contacted Germany during WW I, defying American neutrality, in an effort to secure arms for another uprising—thus setting in motion the events that lead to the Easter Rebellion, the catalyst for Ireland's successful revolt against John Bull. In summing up Devoy's last difficult years—the loss of hearing and sight, a bittersweet reunion with the fianc‚e henever married, and grudging acceptance of an Irish Free State that did not yet achieve full independence—Golway poignantly evokes the cost of the rebel's single-minded commitment as "Irish America's conscience, defense, and . . . chief organizer." A riveting biography of one of the key figures in forging the American connection to Irish republicanism.

From the Publisher
"The Devoy story, in Terry Golway's hands, combines wide scholarship and adventure: it reads like a novel. Get a comfortable chair when you read this book: you won't be able to out it down."—Frank McCourt

"Terry Golway has produced a well-researched biography of a man whose life has hitherto been given too little attention."—David Murray, The New Times Book Review

"Terry Golway tells the story of this exceptional man with affection and a deft narrative sense. In an era of publishing in which America is rediscovering its Irishness, this book will charm and enlighten readers."—Thomas Keneally, author of Schindler's List

author of Schindler's List Thomas Keneally

Terry Golway tells the story of this exceptional man with affection and a deft narrative sense. In an era of publishing in which America is rediscovering its Irishness, this book will charm and enlighten readers.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312199036
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
02/15/1999
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.04(w) x 9.24(h) x 1.12(d)

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