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Irish Books Discussion:     Books About Irish Pirates

A selection of books about Irish pirates.

Editorial Review Of Viking Pirates and Christian Princes:

In popular imagination, the Vikings are remembered as fierce warrior seamen who campaigned through Western Europe, terrorizing British, Frankish, and Irish societies. Yet is it possible that the great Viking armies left more in their wake than carnage and destruction? The stories of two
families-the Olafssons, who transformed a pirate camp in Ireland into the kingdom of Dublin, and the Haraldssons, whose rule encompassed Hebrides, Galloway, and the Isle of Man-suggest that the Vikings did indeed leave behind a much greater legacy.
Between the tenth and twelfth centuries, these two Viking families, descendants of men whom earlier chroniclers dismissed as pagan pirates, established themselves as Christian rulers whose domain straddled the Scandinavian and Celtic worlds. The Olafssons and Haraldssons carved out empires that
inspired fear and made their families fabulously wealthy. From their ranks came the settlers who gave name to the Danelaw in Britain, Fingal in Ireland, and Normandy in Francia. Celebrated in Icelandic sagas and poems, Irish tales, and French history, the Olafssons and Haraldssons took part in the
last successful Scandinavian invasion of Britain and the overthrow of the last Old English kingdom, even as they allied with, fought against, and married their Irish neighbors.
Though the families had come to these lands as conquerors, they soon learned the importance of cooperating with those they had vanquished. Even as they worshipped pagan gods, the Olafssons and Haraldssons both became important benefactors to the Christian church. They also played a crucial role in
the economic revival of northern Europe as trading ships from their ports sailed throughout the Atlantic and the goods they produced traveled as far west as Canada. Under their rule, the seas became a connector for a shared culture, commercially, artistically, and socially.
Challenging traditional views of the Vikings' culture, Benjamin Hudson shows the role that these two great dynasties played in the Second Viking age. The rise and transformation of the Olafssons and Haraldsssons from the tenth to the twelfth centuries highlights a period and people important for
understanding the political, religious, and cultural development of Europe in the High Middle Ages.

Summary of The Pirate Journals of an Irish Exile: somewhat inspirational, if not at least a good read
Comment: The desciption for the book claims Ramor Ryan's journals read like Che's "Motorcycle Diaries" infused with Hunter S. Thompson's wit and flair for the impossible. Quite true in my opinion. What makes this all the more incredible is that Ramor does not necessarily require a large dose of acid and some ether (like Thompson) to do so.

As seen in the description, Ramor has seen quite a few places and been involved in situations that the average person from the US probably has not. If that fact alone does not give merit to reading this book; then the wonderful way he tells his stories coupled with his anarchic perspective, surely will make it worth your while.

The book is a solid read, and may make you want to say "to hell with my nine to five job working for the Man, I want to do something more with my life".

Summary of The Pirate Journals of an Irish Exile:
Compelling, shocking, inspiring, fascinating
Comment: So many incredible real life stories, it reads like fiction, but with an honest edge that is not always easy to find. Kudos to AK Press for publishing what other companies don't touch.

Editorial Reviews of The Pirate Journals of an Irish Exile:

"What separates Ramor's work from the other outstanding young writers is the content of what he is doing. I've never seen anything close to his work…"-Eddie Yuen, co-editor of Confronting Capitalism

"From Belfast to the Bronx and Chiapas to Kurdistan, Ramor Ryan has shown a lifelong commitment to social justice, a questioning mind and an ability to incorporate historical currents into his work."-Mick McCaughan, Latin American Correspondent to the Irish Times

An epic debut, Ramor Ryan's nonfiction tales read like Che Guevara's The Motorcycle Diaries crossed with Hunter S. Thompson's wit and flair for the impossible. A shrewd political thinker and philosopher with a knack for ingratiating himself into the thick of any social situation, Ryan has been there and lived to tell about it.

As much an adventure story as an unofficial chronicle of modern global resistance movements, Clandestines spirits the reader across the globe, carefully weaving the narrative through illicit encounters and public bacchanals. From the teeming squats of mid-90's East Berlin, to intrigue in the Zapatista Autonomous Zone, a Croatian Rainbow Gathering on the heels of the G8 protests in Genoa, mutiny on the high seas, the quixotic ambitions of a Kurdish guerilla camp, the contradictions of Cuba, and the neo-liberal nightmare of post-war(s) Central America we see everywhere a world in flux, struggling to be reborn.

Ramor Ryan is a rebellious rover and Irish exile who makes his home between New York City and Chiapas.

Summary: Granuaile: Ireland's Pirate Queen
Comment: This book was excellently written. To the person who said the anti-christian statements were not true- Let me guess? Your a christian right. Thats the problem with christians, they still deny the truth no matter what. Christianity has always been a man's religion and its the most degrading religion to women and womens rights that has ever existed. I'm glad this author had the guts to be more unique and unconventional to tell the TRUTH. Sorry Christians. I know you never appreciate that.

Summary: Granuaile: Ireland's Pirate Queen

Beware of the anti-Christian, radical feminist rants in this book
Comment: I'm an O'Malley, so you can bet I was looking forward to this book. However, with all due respect to the author, at least in the early going, this book contains some anti-Christian, radical feminist claims that put into question the integrity of the rest of it. For instance, on page 17-18 (paperback edition) the author states: "The writings of the early Christian saints, such as Paul, John, Ambrose, Jerome and Augustine, reflected the degraded position of women in Roman society. Augustine wrote of the 'horrible beastliness of women'..."

Not surprisingly, the author can not substantiate this claim and therefore does not give reference to the original source documents in her endnotes as she does with other claims. Don't get me wrong, there is no doubt that the period in which Granuaile lived was male dominated, and at times, shamefully so. However, that doesn't give an author a license to try to right any injustices by yet another injustice.

It's a shame that the apparent good intentions of this author were laid waste by her seeming desire to bash males and Christianity. A biographer should, at the very least, seek, know and uphold the truth, and then tell the good, the bad and the ugly in an even handed way. This isn't too much to ask.

Summary: Granuaile: Ireland's Pirate Queen
Comment: I think this book was amazing to help me understand Granuaile from many points of views. Withough this book, my history day projetct would have never worked.

Summary: Granuaile: Ireland's Pirate Queen

Comprehensive, concise and entertaining
Comment: I think this is a beautifully researched book with concise information about Grace O'Malley, her clan and Ireland during her life. The only book you need to know everything you need to know!

Summary: Granuaile: Ireland's Pirate Queen
Comment: It was rather a disappointing read given the 4-5 star ratings given by earlier readers. There is a reasonable historical coverage of the life and times of the Irish, however, I was looking for more details regarding her exploits and tactics in battle, in particular, her strategic use of Clew Bay.

Editorial Review: Granuaile: Ireland's Pirate Queen

Using state papers and manuscripts of the period, Anne Chambers reveals the woman behind the legend and presents one of history's most remarkable women against the turbulent political environment of her time. What emerges is a woman who challenges our predisposed sense of convention, who, over four hundred years ago, was one of the first women to break the mold and make a unique contribution to history.

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