Christopher is an experienced and skilled public speaker who enjoys sharing entertaining and amazing stories of history with audiences. He has spoken at nearly 100 libraries, historical societies, bookstores, schools, lifelong learning programs, and other institutions. Christopher is available for book signings and lectures on the following topics:
When the Irish Invaded Canada: It’s No Blarney
Just over a year after Robert E. Lee relinquished his sword, a band of Union and Confederate veterans dusted off their guns. These former foes, however, had no intention of reigniting the Civil War. Instead, they fought side by side to undertake one of the most fantastical missions in military history: to seize the British province of Canada and hold it hostage until the independence of Ireland was secured. In this talk, learn the outlandish, little-known story of the self-proclaimed Irish Republican Army that carried out five attacks on Canada—known collectively as the Fenian Raids—between 1866 and 1871. With the tacit support of the U.S. government, 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 America’s northern neighbor, if only for a matter of days. Click here to watch a video of one of Christopher’s talks on When the Irish Invaded Canada.
Discovering the Boston Harbor Islands
The blockbuster movie “Shutter Island” was set on a fictitious island in Boston Harbor, but the true stories of the 34 Boston Harbor Islands are even stranger than fiction. Author Christopher Klein takes you on a virtual tour through the colorful history and natural beauty of one of our best-kept local secrets: the Boston Harbor Islands national park area. Hear tales of ghosts, shipwrecks, prisoners of war, and Revolutionary War battles that took place on “the real Shutter Islands” and get inspired to leave port and visit this urban oasis.
John L. Sullivan: America’s First Sports Superstar
John L. Sullivan lived large. He had a large ego, large appetites for women and booze, and a larger-than-life personality that captivated Gilded Age America. The “Boston Strong Boy” was the last of the bare-knuckle boxing champions and the first Irish-American idol—a mighty symbol of ascendant Celtic power a generation after the potato famine. Grab a ringside seat to the colorful tale of the hard-hitting, hard-drinking boxer who became America’s first sports superstar. Travel back in time to the birth of American celebrity culture and learn how Sullivan’s decade-long reign launched America’s modern sporting obsession.
A History of Boston Sports: From Playful Puritans to Football Patriots
Sports are much more than just a recreational outlet for Bostonians. Sports are intricately woven into the cultural fabric of the city and reflect the Hub’s heart and soul. But, surprisingly, the city’s love affair with sports was far from preordained. Author Christopher Klein talks about Boston’s legendary sports history, offers tips to guide you through the city’s sports scene, and provides some lesser-known facts that’ll test the knowledge of even the most die-hard fan. This fun event will have something for rookies and old-timers alike.
When America Despised the Irish: The 19th Century’s Refugee Crisis
More than 150 years ago, tens of thousands of poor, disease-ridden refugees sought haven in the United States. They threatened to take jobs away from Americans and strain welfare budgets. They practiced an alien religion and pledged allegiance to a foreign leader. They were accused of being criminals. And, worst of all to many Americans, these undesirables were Irish. Explore this era of scorn the Irish initially encountered and find out how they became part of the American mainstream. Click here to watch a video of one of Christopher’s talks on When America Despised the Irish.
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