Christopher Klein will be here to introduce his new book, WHEN THE IRISH INVADED CANADA. This is the untold tale of a band of fiercely patriotic Irish Americans and their chapter in Ireland’s centuries-long fight for independence. Inspiring, lively, and often undeniably comic, this is a story of fighting for what’s right in the face of impossible odds. Christopher will talk about his new book, answer audience questions, followed by a book signing. We'll be offering beer and wine for sale at the event, and look forward to an unforgettable evening of little-known Irish history!
"Thoroughly researched and engagingly written...A well-presented, little-known sidebar to the struggle for Irish independence."
"From today's perspective the invasions of Canada by Irish-Americans...seem to have the qualities of a comic opera. But these 'Fenians' were deadly serious...Their example helped inspire the movement that led to eventual success a half century later. Christopher Klein's fresh telling of this story is an important landmark in both Irish and American history."
—James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom and The War That Forged a Nation
"This is a surprising and fascinating book. With a great eye for detail and illustrative flourish, Klein tells the riveting story of brave men who believed deeply in the cause of Irish independence, and were willing to lay down their lives to achieve it. At turns heroic, bumbling, comic, idealistic, prideful, pigheaded, and star crossed, these men and their dramatic actions are an important, though all but forgotten, part of the American and Irish experience."
—Eric Jay Dolin, author of Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America's Most Notorious Pirates
ABOUT THE BOOK:
The outlandish, untold story of the Irish American revolutionaries who tried to free Ireland by invading Canada.
Just over a year after Robert E. Lee relinquished his sword, a band of Union and Confederate veterans dusted off their guns. But these former foes had no intention of reigniting the Civil War. Instead, they fought side by side to undertake one of the most fantastical missions in military history: to seize the British province of Canada and to hold it hostage until the independence of Ireland was secured.
By the time that these invasions—known collectively as the Fenian raids—began in 1866, Ireland had been Britain’s unwilling colony for seven hundred years. Thousands of Civil War veterans who had fled to the United States rather than perish in the wake of the Great Hunger still considered themselves Irishmen first, Americans second. With the tacit support of the U.S. government and inspired by a previous generation of successful American revolutionaries, the group that carried out a series of five attacks on Canada—the Fenian Brotherhood—established a state in exile, planned prison breaks, weathered infighting, stockpiled weapons, and assassinated enemies. Defiantly, this motley group, including a one-armed war hero, an English spy infiltrating rebel forces, and a radical who staged his own funeral, managed to seize a piece of Canada—if only for three days.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
CHRISTOPHER KLEIN is the author of four books, including Strong Boy: The Life and Times of John L. Sullivan, America’s First Sports Hero. A frequent contributor to History.com, Christopher has also written for The Boston Globe, The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, Harvard Magazine, Smithsonian.com, and AmericanHeritage.com. He lives in Andover, Massachusetts.