A Review of:
How the Irish Saved Civilization
By Thomas Cahill
In cinematic-like prose Thomas Cahill presents images of history breathtaking, absorbing, and sometimes disturbing. While culling from a wide variety of sources, and presenting it in a way that tempts the literary palette for more, this work spans the history of more than a millennium to tell the story of the link from ancient Greece to the twentieth century.
I suppose being Irish aids my fascination with the subject matter, and being a contemplative type Christian doesn’t hurt either. Still, Cahill’s description of life in the early centuries provides illumination into what have been termed the Dark Ages for more reasons than one. The reader feels as if he had sat by an ancient fireside, complete with smells and sounds.
It remains to be seen what we will do with this illumination. I’d love to read Cahill’s thoughts on modern culture.
Seldom have I read a contemporary work of this magnitude and complexity, with such ability to engage. Happily, it is one of five in a series titled Hinges of History. I’ll be going back for more!