Christopher Klein Author & Freelance Writer

Christopher Klein is an author and freelance writer specializing in history, travel, and sports. His forthcoming book, When the Irish Invaded Canada: The Incredible True Story of the Civil War Veterans Who Fought for Ireland's Freedom, will be released by Doubleday Books on March 12, 2019. 

A frequent contributor to the Boston Globe and, Christopher has also written for the New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, Harvard Magazine, Red Sox Magazine,,, and He is also the author of Strong Boy: The Life and Times of John L. Sullivan, America's First Sports Hero (Lyons Press, 2013), The Die-Hard Sports Fan's Guide to Boston (Union Park Press, 2009) and Discovering the Boston Harbor Islands: A Guide to the City's Hidden Shores (Union Park Press, 2008). 

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“Thoroughly researched and engagingly written…A well-presented, little-known sidebar to the struggle for Irish independence.”—Kirkus Reviews

The outlandish, untold story of the Irish American revolutionaries who tried to free Ireland by invading Canada

Just over a year after Robert E. Lee relinquished his sword, a band of Union and Confederate veterans dusted off their guns. But these former foes had no intention of reigniting the Civil War. Instead, they were bound by a common goal: to seize the British province of Canada and to hold it hostage until the independence of Ireland was secured.

By the time that these invasions–known together as the Fenian Raids–began in 1866, Ireland had been Britain’s unwilling colony for seven hundred years. Thousands of Civil War veterans considered themselves Irishmen before they were Americans. They were those who fled rather than perish in the wake of the Great Hunger, and now they took their cue from a previous generation of successful American revolutionaries. With the tacit support of the U.S. government, the Fenian Brotherhood established a state in exile, planned prison breaks, weathered infighting, stockpiled weapons, and assassinated enemies. Defiantly, this motley group, including a one-armed war hero, an English spy infiltrating rebel forces, and a radical who staged his own funeral, managed to seize a piece of Canada–if only for three days.

When the Irish Invaded Canada is the untold tale of a band of fiercely patriotic Irish Americans and their chapter in Ireland’s centuries-long fight for independence. Inspiring, lively, and often undeniably comic, this is a story of fighting for what’s right in the face of impossible odds.

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