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Best of the Book Nook: How the Irish Saved Civilization, by Thomas Cahill


It was around this time of year in 1996 that Thomas Cahill came through the area on a tour to publicize his book "How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe." It was right before St. Patrick's Day and since the man known as Patrick was the central figure in Cahill's history of early Ireland it seemed quite appropriate.

His book became a mega-best-seller. It remained on the best-seller lists for years. Thomas Cahill gave a wonderful interview that day. As I look back at the many interviews I have conducted I would have to consider this one to be among my favorites. Sometimes there is simply a spark that is struck during a conversation. This happens most often when the guest is actually in the same studio with me.

We both enjoyed our conversation that day. That evening I was surprised to receive a phone call at my home from Thomas Cahill. His event in Dayton had ended and he wondered if I would like to have dinner with him and continue our conversation?  I readily agreed and hopped on my bicycle to meet him at The Winds Cafe in Yellow Springs.

We had a lovely meal together. We talked and drank a little wine. It was splendid! I suppose that is one reason why I consider this interview to be one of my favorites because it didn't end when I shut down the microphones in the studio.  After we finished our suppers we relocated to the bar and continued our conversation. I never saw the bill. His publisher footed the tab. There's more to the story. If you listen to this podcast you can find out how our evening ended.

The Book Nook on WYSO is presented by the Greene County Public Library with additional support from Washington-Centerville Public Library,  Clark County Public LibraryDayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.

Vick Mickunas introduced the Book Nook author interview program for WYSO in 1994. Over the years he has produced more than 1500 interviews with writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and celebrities. Listen to the Book Nook with Vick Mickunas for intimate conversations about books with the writers who create them. Vick Mickunas reviews books for the Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News Sun.