Dennis Maley's Reviews > How the Irish Saved Civilization

How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill
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Jun 19, 12

it was amazing
Read in March, 2000

I bought this off of a seasonal table at Barnes & Noble a few years ago. I self-identify as Irish and it was March and all... listen, I've never bought green beer and have no desire to drink it, but to be honest, I was probably humming "Tura Lura Lura" to myself when I picked this book up. My expectations were low.

I got a pleasant surprise. It's one of my all-time favorites. Cahill unfolds a rich history of the Celts, their wild character, and how a runaway slave boy returned to Ireland and converted them to Christianity. If there were a Mt Rushmore for icons of western civilization, Patrick's face would definately have a place there alongside Jesus, Martin Luther, and John Derek.*

As it turns out, the Irish monks undertook to duplicate every manuscript they could lay their hands on while so many other churchmen were sitting around on mountain tops, wearing hair shirts and letting their skin putrify. I hadn't known that.

HTISC was Cahill's first book in a series he calls "Hinges of History." His style is open, accessible, and entertaining. Buy this book. Or steal it if you have to.

*married Ursula Andress, Linda Evans, and Bo Derek.

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