History is our true novel, says Roy Foster, Ireland's leading historian. In "An Irish History of Civilization", the world's foremost scholar of the Irish diaspora, Don Akenson, fuses history and fiction into an iconoclastic narrative of a people and their influence around the globe. In a sprawling chronicle of civilization through Irish eyes, Akenson takes us from St Patrick to Woodie Guthrie, from Constantine to John F. Kennedy, from India to the Australian outback. In two volumes of masterful storytelling he creates ironic, playful, and acerbic historical miniatures - a quixotic series of reconstructions woven into a helix in which the same historical figures reappear in radically different contexts as their narratives intersect with the larger picture."An Irish History of Civilization" is about the Irish at home and abroad, the great and the small, the noble and the depraved, the wise and the foolish.
In vignettes of Irish misery, triumph, folly, and glory, Akenson weaves artful fictions - his hilarious portrait of Victorian Canadian icon Susannnah Moodie, for instance, will outlive a hundred solemn monographs on her literary life and his tales of Irish Protestants and Catholics will leave no doubt about their impact on American life.Like the archetypal stories in the Talmuds, Akenson's model, the stories in "An Irish History of Civilization" are universal for big truths require a big canvas. He follows his chosen peoples on their odyssey around the globe in a story like no other, the lines between history and fiction irretrievably lost in the mists of Irish time. Volume 1 takes Irish civilization from its Semitic roots in early Christianity to St Patrick to early Irish conquests in Europe and several New Worlds, and from the eighteenth-century penal laws to the emergence of Irish Catholics as energetic imperialists within the First and Second British Empires.
Don Akenson is the author of numerous books including Surpassing Wonder: The Invention of the Bible and the Talmuds (nominated for the Governor General's Award) and, most recently, Some Family: The Mormons and How Humanity Keeps Track of Itself. He teache
Book One Downpatrick is the butterfly capital of the universe Prelude 1; The Discus Throwers 16-400CE; The Rope Braiders 150-400CE; The Book of the Conquests of Ireland 3000 BCE-493CE; Who Spreadest Out the Heavens 493-1493; New Worlds Seduce the Old 1488-1610; Misplaced Files 1610-1660; The Empire of the Obscure: The West Indies 1620-1667; The Mainland Colonies 1584-1690; The Empire of the Ambiguous: The West Indies 1668-1690; Glory in Some Fashion 1690-1785; The Devil's Sugar Plantation: The West Indies 1690-1785; Thirteen Is a Lucky Number 1690-1785 Book Two Kings of the wild frontiers?Off Their Knees. Ireland 1785-1830; Cry Not for Cook's Wake 1768-1793; Measuring the Land of Resentment. Australia 1785-1830; The Long White Shroud. New Zealand 1792-1830; Albion, Hibernia's Bent Old Darling 1715-1830; St. Paul Comes to Polynesia 1795-1830; The Canadas 1770-1830; The American Evolution 1785-1830; The Edge. Ireland 1830-1845; Regarding the Crown Jewel. India 1785-1845; Not the Darkest of Continents. Africa 1805-1845; The End of Easy Money. The West Indies 1800-1865; Advance Australia Fair, or Foul 1830-45; Treaty Negotiations? New Zealand 1830-1845; Pebbles in God's Hand. Polynesia 1830-1845; Neighbour. England 1830-1845; Upper Canada. Ireland's Cold Dominion 1830-1845; Compression and Expansion. The United States 1830-1845
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