St Patrick catching sight of Ireland for the first time as he arrives as a prisoner, Joyce and Yeats eating sticky buns in a Dublin cafe. In a daring, genre-breaking work, the world's foremost scholar of the Irish diaspora fuses history and fiction into an iconoclastic chronicle of civilization through Irish eyes. From St Patrick to Woody Guthrie, Constantine to John F. Kennedy, India to the Australian outback, Don Akenson's "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. Akenson weaves ironic and playful historical miniatures of Irish misery, folly, and glory. Like the archetypal stories in the Talmuds, the artful fictions in "An Irish History of Civilization" are universal, big truths that require a big canvas. Akenson 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.
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 teaches
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