Friday, March 06, 2009

How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill

How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill

I have quite a few things to say about this book and unfortunately none of them are good things.

Let me start with my expectations, based on the title How the Irish Saved Civilization, I was expecting some fun facts of how, throughout history, the Irish have done great things that have affected the rest of the world. This wasn't the case. At all.

This book is a short little thing of 200 pages that reads like a university essay. I felt like I should be taking notes and highlighting passages. But I digress. Since the title does have "Irish" in it, I was quite surprised that the first 50 pages (25%) of the book had merely a handful of mentions of Ireland or Irish people. Instead, it was about Rome and the Roman culture. Then it was talk about Roman literature and classicism. Not exactly my favourite subject in the world.

Once the book finally got into Irish history, it was more on Irish folklore, religion in Ireland, and literature/modified classicism. Again, not my favourite subjects. This was when the book became more How Religion saved Ireland or How Catholicism in Ireland saved Religion. I can't tell you which one would be a better title for this book, because at this point, I stopped caring.

About the only good thing about this book is it's title. Unfortunately, the rest of the book doesn't live up to it.

First Line: "The word Irish is seldom coupled with the world civilization."



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