Skip to Main Content

For the Cause of Liberty

A Thousand Years of Ireland's Heroes


Ireland's struggle for freedom reaches back much further into the annals of history than most of us can imagine. Since the eleventh century, when legendary king Brian Boru united the chieftains of Ireland to resist Viking invasion, countless individual leaders have fought to preserve and protect Ireland's political and cul-tural autonomy. In a chronicle of unprecedented breadth and authority, For the Cause of Liberty tells the stories of these heroes -- including both men and women, Catholics and Protestants -- who enabled the Irish to free themselves from the yoke of colonial oppression.

Journalist Terry Golway reconstructs the entire thousand-year history of Irish nationalism, covering each benchmark event in Ireland's political evolution and presenting a vivid, epic tale of both the famous and unsung patriots who changed the course of Ireland's history. Among these are Wolfe Tone, a leader of the 1798 rebellion who cut his own throat rather than submit to a hangman; Kevin Barry, executed at age eighteen rather than turn informer on the eve of independence in 1921; and Bobby Sands, an IRA militant who died on a hunger strike in 1981, calling international attention to the conflict in Northern Ireland.

The engaging and admirable story of how the Irish have saved themselves, For the Cause of Liberty is a peerless work of scholarship, and it offers a fresh context for the ongoing discussion of Ireland's political future.

Terry Golway is City Editor and columnist at THE NEW YORK OBSERVER. He is also a frequent contributor to the Irish Echo, America, American Heritage, The Boston Globe, The New York Times and other national publications. He is the author of IRISH REBEL: JOHN DEVOY AND AMERICA'S FIGHT FOR IRELANDS'S FREEDOM and coauthor of THE IRISH IN AMERICA.

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (May 22, 2012)
  • Length: 400 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781451699968

Frank McCourt The perfect book -- written with the skill of a storyteller, the clarity of a working journalist, the scholarship of a veteran historian.

New York Post A fine and very readable fresh as a just-poured pint of Guinness.

Dennis Smith author of Report from Engine Co. 82 The telling of popular history at its best....Every page vibrates with authenti-city and excitement.

Publishers Weekly An energetic and deeply informative work.

More books from this author: Terry Golway