Synopses & Reviews
"Tells the story of the Irish fighting man with wit, clarity, and scholarship." —Andrew Roberts, author of The Storm of War
For hundreds of years, Irish soldiers have sought their destiny abroad. Wherever they've traveled, whichever side of the battlefield they've stood, the tales of their exploits have never been forgotten.
Leaving his birthplace, the Irish soldier has traveled with hope, often seeking to bring a liberating revolution to his fellow countrymen. In search of adventure the Fighting Irish have been found in all corners of the world. Some sailed to America and joined in frontier fighting, others demonstrated their loyalty to their adopted homeland in the bloody combats of the American Civil War, as well as campaigns against the British Empire in Canada and South Africa. The Irish soldier can also be found in the thick of war during the twentieth century—facing slaughter at the Somme, desperate last-stands in the Congo—and, more recently, in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In The Fighting Irish, Tim Newark tells their tales in the dramatic words of the soldiers themselves, gathered from diaries, letters, journals, and interviews with veterans in Ireland and across the world.
"Irish soldiers constitute 'the largest group of servicemen born outside the United States' to receive the Medal of Honor (many have also won Britain's highest honor, the Victoria Cross), and while Newark's exhaustive chronicle of their exploits on the battlefield makes that superlative no surprise, the veteran military historian is less successful in uncovering the complex origins of the trope of the fighting Irish. His investigation into Gaelic bellicosity mostly takes the form of description, and Newark's (Highlander: The History of the Legendary Highland Soldier) continuous talk of the 'fight for freedom' quickly becomes anodyne. But his wide-ranging history does showcase the remarkably diverse causes that Irish forces have rallied behind. They dressed in red while furthering Britain's Victorian empire, but they wore Union Blue during the American Civil War. They've fought for South American rebel groups, South Africa's Boers, and as mercenaries in the Congo. Irish deserters from the U.S. Army during the Mexican-American War were considered by Mexico to be 'national heroes,' and modern warriors continue to put bite to bark in the harrowing hills of Afghanistan. Newark's newest is no grand, rousing narrative, but it is a testament to Irish soldiers throughout modern history. 8-page b&w photo insert. Agent: Andrew Lownie, Andrew Lownie Literary Agency (U.K.)." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
TIM NEWARK has written seventeen previous works of military history and other nonfiction, including Highlander: The History of the Legendary Highland Soldier. He has contributed book reviews to the Financial Times, Time Out, and the Daily Telegraph and has worked as a scriptwriter and consultant for seven television documentary series for the History Channel and BBC Worldwide.