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Extended Audio Sample Saint Patricks Battalion: A Novel, by James Alexander Thom Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (37 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Alexander Thom Narrator: William Dufris Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A stirring fictional account of the amazing real-life story of John Riley, an Irishman who led his men to desert the American military during the Mexican-American War, as seen through the eyes of two memorable narrators.

It is June 1845, and Paddy Quinn is a camp boy for the American army—which, by order of President Polk, is bound for Mexico. A young man with journalistic aspirations, Paddy writes letters for illiterate soldiers and learns that, like him, many are Irish, including the enigmatic John Riley. Riley rattles camp hierarchy when he rails against the brutal treatment of Irish soldiers, but he soon goes further, sneaking away at night to switch sides. Riley is not alone. Fed up with mistreatment and drawn by a Catholic bond, Irish, German, and other soldiers join Mexico. Led by Riley, a corps of Irishman called the San Patricios—in English, St. Patrick’s Battalion—fights for the enemy in the war’s major campaigns. But when they are captured, their resolve is tested in the extreme—as are Paddy’s loyalties, to his country and to the man he most admires.

Alternating between Paddy’s account and that of Augustin Juvero, a Mexican soldier, nationally bestselling author James Alexander Thom constructs an enlightening novel about war, duty, and loyalty, and draws intriguing parallels to our current conflict in Iraq in his most powerful and relevant novel since Follow the River.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Stuart | 2/23/2013

    " Very good historical novel about the Mexican War, a period sadly under-represented in both history and fiction, and moreover focused on a little-known but telling aspect of that war, the story of the Irish soldiers who deserted the US Army by the hundreds and went over to serve on the Mexican side. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by John | 11/16/2012

    " A decent introduction to one of the United State's unmentioned wars - the U.S. conquest of Mexico in 1840. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Stuart | 11/19/2010

    " Very good historical novel about the Mexican War, a period sadly under-represented in both history and fiction, and moreover focused on a little-known but telling aspect of that war, the story of the Irish soldiers who deserted the US Army by the hundreds and went over to serve on the Mexican side. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by John | 12/27/2009

    " A decent introduction to one of the United State's unmentioned wars - the U.S. conquest of Mexico in 1840. "

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About the Author
Author James Alexander Thom

James Alexander Thom was a US Marine, a newspaper and magazine editor, and a member of the faculty at the Indiana University Journalism School. He is the acclaimed author of Long Knife, From Sea to Shining Sea, The Children of First Man, The Red Heart, Sign-Talker, and Panther in the Sky, for which he won the prestigious Western Writers of America Spur Award for Best Historical Novel. He lives in the Indiana hill country near Bloomington with his wife, Dark Rain, of the Shawnee Nation, United Remnant Band.