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Irish Rebel: John Devoy & America’s Fight for Ireland’s Freedom, New Revised Edition


Terry Golway

September 2015

A newly revised edition of Irish Rebel, a brilliantly written biography of one of the major leaders of the Irish-American nationalist movement, and a hero of nationalist Ireland.

“Reads like a novel… you won’t be able to put it down” – Frank McCourt


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Described by Padraig Pearse as the “greatest of the Fenians”, John Devoy was born before the Famine and lived to see the Irish tricolour flying from Dublin Castle. The descendent of a rebel family, he was an avowed Fenian who went into exile in New York in 1871. Over the next half-century he was the most-prominent leader of the Irish-American nationalist movement. Every Irish leader from Parnell to Pearse sought his counsel. He organised a dramatic rescue of Fenian prisoners from Australia, rallied Irish America behind the Land War, served as a middle man between the Easter rebels and the German government, and helped move Irish-American opinion in favour of the Treaty. When he died in 1928, Devoy was accorded a state funeral and a hero’s burial in Ireland.

This new revised edition of the acclaimed biography of this overlooked architect of the Irish independence movement is also the story of Ireland, and of Irish-America, from the Famine to Freedom, examining the extraordinary cloak-and-dagger planning of the Easter Rising and the critical role of America in its outcome.

“The Devoy story, in Terry Golway’s hands, combines wide scholarship and adventure: it reads like a novel. Get a comfortable chair when you read this book: you won’t be able to put it down.”
– Frank McCourt

“Terry Golway tells the story of this exceptional man with affection and deft narrative sense…this book will charm and enlighten readers.”
– Thomas Keneally

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – A Land Beyond the Waves
Chapter 2 – A Most Distressful Country
Chapter 3 – A Great Hunger
Chapter 4 – Bold Fenian Man
Chapter 5 – On the Cause Must Go
Chapter 6 – Bound for Western Australia
Chapter 7 – Fetters Rent in Twain
Chapter 8 – For Erin’s Sake
Chapter 9 – Hark, a Voice Like Thunder
Chapter 10 – Pay Them Back, Woe for Woe
Chapter 11 – The Ould Triangle
Chapter 12 – Darkest Just Before the Dawn
Chapter 13 – Impatient for the Coming Fight
Chapter 14 – A Flag of War
Chapter 15 – Yonder Waits the Saxon Foe
Chapter 16 – Passions Vain and Lowly
Chapter 17 – A Nation Once Again
Chapter 18 – A Soldier’s Song

About the Author

Terry Golway is an American journalist who has worked for the New York Observer, the editorial board of the New York Times, and currently at Politico New York. He holds a Ph.D. in US History from Rutgers University and is a frequent guest on American radio and television. He is the author of over a dozen books.

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