Hitching for Hope is a recently published, inspiring and enlightening book by Irish author and social campaigner, Ruairí McKiernan.
It's a journey through the heart of Ireland, revealing the deep-rooted soul of an ancient, welcoming and kind people.
This week I'm delighted to host a giveaway for a copy of Hitching for Hope, for one lucky reader to win.
But first let's go hitching around Ireland, together with Ruairí, on his quest to find hope. (Ruairí is ronounced Roo-Ree, and is the Irish form of the name Rory.)
Table of Contents
Introducing Hitching For Hope
In the pages of this book, you'll hear a chorus of voices from Ireland, not the words of illustrious celebrities or politicians, but the true voices of the ordinary folk, who call Ireland home.
These people are the backbone of our communities, the helpers, the workers, and above all those who love, hope and believe in Ireland and the world.
The observations shared in this book are gleaned through the astute and open eye of Ruairí McKiernan, a proud dreamer and believer in the power of hope and the goodness of humanity.
It comprises heartfelt reflections on what it means to be Irish and hopeful, living on a small island in a global economy.
This book a worthy #1 Irish Times bestseller.
Here's the introduction from the book's cover and website:
"A modern travel tale—part personal pilgrimage, part political quest—that captures the power of human resilience."
Following the collapse of Ireland’s Celtic Tiger economy, social activist Ruairí McKiernan questions whether he should join the mounting number of emigrants searching for greater opportunity elsewhere.
McKiernan embarks on a hitchhiking odyssey with no money, no itinerary and no idea where he might end up each night.
His mission: to give voice to those emerging from one of the most painful periods of economic and social turmoil in Ireland’s history.
Engaging, provocative and sincere, Hitching for Hope is a testimony to the spirit of Ireland. It is an inspirational manifesto for hope and healing in troubled times."
You can listen to a short excerpt from the book here....
A Future of Hope
Ruairí's message of hope is infectious. He delves into many important aspects of Irish society and helps us understand it through the power of his hitch hiking stories.
He weaves together a fabric of hope, by showing the interconnections between culture, history, economics, politics, legends, and myths.
He paints a picture of an Irish community where, no matter what twists and turns life brings, humor and kindness continue to flourish.
I love when he says:
"Listening is a radical act."
And as Ruairí travels the length and breadth of Ireland in the company of strangers, he becomes a radical listener.
His traveling companions and gracious helpers along the way, confirm his belief that most people are kind and decent and caring.
He tells us that it's not easy to have hope sometimes, but he firmly believes that community is a medicine that will heal us.
By connecting with one another, and sharing our stories and experiences, the world can become a better place. But this involves the important act of remembering.
"What becomes dismembered, needs to become remembered."
Hats off to Ruairí for that little gem of advice.
About Ruairí McKiernan
Ruairí McKiernan is a renowned Irish social campaigner, Fulbright scholar, former Presidential appointee to Ireland’s Council of State, and European Director of the American nonprofit Narrative 4.
He is also the host of the popular Love and Courage podcast, founder of the pioneering SpunOut.ie, a national youth charity, and a founding member of the Uplift organization.
In 2017, the global social entrepreneur foundation, Ashoka, named McKiernan one of the top ten people leading social change in Ireland.
Here's Ruairí giving an inspirational TED talk:
Connect with Ruairí McKiernan
Here are some links to help you learn more about Ruairí and his work:
- The Love and Courage Podcast on Facebook
- The Love and Courage Podcast
- Ruairí McKiernan on Twitter
- Ruairí McKiernan on Instagram
- Ruairí’s Website
Praise for Hitching For Hope
Here are some wonderful reviews for this worthy book:
‘In Hitching for Hope, Ruairí McKiernan sets out on a pilgrimage to capture truth and to hear stories that deserve to be heard. He sticks his thumb out, and somehow a healthy dose of humanity manages to roll up alongside him. McKiernan is a writer who finds home in the elsewhere. This book is a paean to nuance, decency and possibility.’
—Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin; co-founder of Narrative 4
‘Ireland went through its Celtic Tiger phase, all consumerism and growth. And then it crashed. In the aftermath, Ruairí McKiernan found that, like humans everywhere, what people really yearned for was community and connection, even if they’d almost forgotten how any of that worked. This is a tale that will resonate all over the world.’
—Bill McKibben, author of Wandering Home
‘After travelling around Ireland and listening rather than speaking, McKiernan has produced a personal diary, a guided tour of his native country and an Irish Canterbury Tales for the twenty-first century. Hitching for Hope is a package of hope itself, full of kindness, political observations and of course the craic. Irish at its core and international in its search for optimism and communal involvement, it’s an easy and uplifting read.’
—Peggy Seeger, singer-songwriter; author of First Time Ever
One luck reader will win a copy of Hitching for Hope by Ruairí McKiernan.
To enter simply leave a comment on this blog post by noon Eastern Time on Saturday, July 25th, 2020.
Any comment will do. What you write does not affect your chance of winning, but if you need inspiration why not tell us if you have ever gone hitch hiking in Ireland, or anywhere in the world.
A winning comment will be chosen randomly. Remember to leave your e-mail so that I can contact you should you win. Your e-mail won’t be published, just used to contact our lucky contestant for mailing of the prize.
The winner will be announced on Saturday, July 25th, 2020, at the bottom of this blog post.
You may check out Irish American Mom’s complete terms and conditions for sweepstakes’ entries by clicking here.
Many thanks to everyone for stopping by to follow these hitch hiking adventures around Ireland. And a big thank you to Chelsea Green Publishing for sharing this book with us today.
Update – Winner Chosen
Our winner has been randomly chosen using the Pick Giveaway Winner Plug-in for WordPress.
And the lucky reader is ….
I’ll send Anne an email to arrange mailing of her prize. A big thank you to everyone for supporting this giveaway by leaving comments. And many thanks to Ruairí, for sharing his book and hitch hiking adventures with us.
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Thanks for following my recipes and ramblings.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Mairéad -Irish American Mom
Pronunciation - slawn ah-gus ban-ock-th
Mairéad - rhymes with parade
Disclosure: I received a free, electronic copy of this book for review purposes. This post reflects my honest and unbiased thoughts about this work.
Text copyright 2020 by Ruairi McKiernan.
Excerpts and photos reproduced with permission of the publisher, Chelsea Green Publishing.
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