Read Ireland Book Reviews
Michael Collins’s Intelligence War: The Struggle Between the British and the IRA 1919-1921 by Michael Foy
Hardback; 26.00 Euro / 32.00 USD / 20.00 UK; 280 pages, with 16-page black-and-white photo insert
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Michael Collins (1890-1922) is often thought of as Ireland's lost leader: a man born into a revolutionary environment who became a skilled statesman and military leader and who met an untimely and violent death. Michael Foy's new book looks in depth at Collins's key role in the still fiercely divisive Anglo-Irish War that came in the aftermath of the 1916 Easter Rising. It describes Collins' rise to prominence within Irish republicanism after the Easter Rising and, as de facto leader of the IRA and GHQ Director of Intelligence, how he was largely instrumental in bringing about the Anglo-Irish War of 1919 to 1921. It also contains a detailed account of how, for the first time in Irish revolutionary history, Collins seized the intelligence initiative from the British. The intelligence war is set firmly within the context of a city at war and Dublin's conditions at the time are vividly recaptured. The book uses an extensive range of primary sources - including written statements by participants, contemporary documents and photographs from both the Bureau of Military History, Dublin and the National Archives in London - to explore the role and personality of this fascinating man.
Michael Collins and the Making of the Irish State edited by Gabriel Doherty and Dermot Keogh
Paperback; 15.00 Euro / 18.00 USD / 10.00 UK; 220 pages [Add To Basket]
This is a series of specially commissioned essays, written by some of Ireland's leading historians (academic and popular), on the contribution made by Michael Collins to the making of the Irish state. This is a professional evaluation of Michael Collins, which brings to light his multi-faceted and complex character. The contributors examine Collins as Minister for Finance, his role in intelligence, his policy towards the north, his career as Commander-in-Chief, the origins of the Civil War, his relationship with De Valera, and how academics view his place in Irish history. The volume is illustrated with an eight-page plate section of photographs from private family archives, from Military Archives and from the Examiner, in order to give the book added scholarly and popular appeal.
The Anglo-Irish War: The Troubles of 1913-1922 by Peter Cottrell
Large Format Paperback; 15.00 Euro / 18.00 USD / 10.00 UK; 100 pages with black-and-white photos throughout
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The Anglo-Irish War has often been referred to as the war 'the English have struggled to forget and the Irish cannot help but remember'. Before 1919, the issue of Irish Home Rule lurked beneath the surface of Anglo-Irish relations for many years, but after the Great War, tensions rose up and boiled over. Irish Nationalists in the shape of Sinn Fein and the IRA took political power in 1919 with a manifesto to claim Ireland back from an English 'foreign' government by whatever means necessary. This book explores the conflict and the years that preceded it, examining such historic events as the Easter Rising and the infamous Bloody Sunday.
Desmond’s Rising: Memoirs 1913 to Easter 1916 by Desmond FitzGerald
Paperback; 15.00 Euro / 18.00 USD / 10.00 UK; 240 pages [Add To Basket]
Urged on by friends, during the Second World War Desmond FitzGerald began writing about his experiences during the national movement for independence. The resulting book, covering the years from 1913 until just after the 1916 Easter Rising, remained unpublished until Garret FitzGerald found the manuscript in 1966. The book, here reissued as the first title in Liberties Press.s .Revival. series, opens with Desmond FitzGerald.s recollections of the time he spent on the Great Blasket Island and his relocation from Brittany to Dingle with the object of learning Irish and taking part in the emerging movement for Irish independence.
Desmond.s Rising charts Desmond.s involvement in the Irish Volunteers and the IRB; his arrest and imprisonment in 1915.16; his involvement in the preparations for the Rising in Dublin; and his experiences in the GPO during the fateful Easter week of 1916. What strikes the reader most strongly is the unselfconscious heroism of those who took part in the Rising.
This new edition features an updated foreword by former Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald and correspondence between George Bernard Shaw and Desmond.s wife Mabel . the republican daughter of a Presbyterian Belfast businessman. Also included here for the first time are various reflections on the Rising and its aftermath, a candid account of Desmond.s time in Maidstone Gaol, some of Desmond.s poems and a number of rare photographs from the time.
The Blueshirts by Maurice Manning
Paperback; 13.00 Euro / 16.00 USD / 10.00 UK; 272 pages
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The Blueshirts were a quasi-fascist organisation founded in 1932 following de Valera's first election victory. They adopted the style and some of the substance of European fascist movements. Although relatively short-lived, they were one of the founding strands in what became the Fine Gael party. Maurice Manning's definitive history chronicles the rise and fall of the Blueshirts against the social and political background of Ireland in the late 1920s and 1930s. In many ways this book is a model. [The author's] account is clear, detailed and fully documented, his analysis of the conflicting interests and emotions dispassionate and perceptive, his conclusions balanced and sound. This is the way Irish history should be written. - "The Irish Times". An admirably lucid and well documented book [that] describes the rise and fall of the Blueshirt movement which figured so dramatically on the public stage during the turbulent thirties. - "Irish Independent". Manning's book is a worthy and welcome addition to a small but growing body of serious work on personalities, issues and institutions in the modern Irish state. - "Journal of Modern History".
The Emergency: Neutral Ireland 1939-1945 by Brian Girvin
Large Format Paperback; 17.00 Euro / 22.00 USD / 12.00 UK; 380 pages with two 8-page black-and-white photo inserts
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Brian Girvin has written a fresh and original history of Ireland between 1939 and 1945. Drawing on new sources and recent scholarship, he tells the story of what is known as "The Emergency" in Ireland, but elsewhere as the Second World War. Despite Ireland still being a member of the Commonwealth, Eamon de Valera refused to join the war against Nazi Germany and declared his country neutral. To the endless frustration and anger of Churchill - and later Roosevelt - de Valera pursued an isolationist policy that changed the course of Irish domestic and foreign politics. In this brilliantly argued account, Girvin shows how this policy went against the national interest, and far from being the only option for the Government, was simply the only one they would consider. This decision, Girvin concludes, cost de Valera his ultimate prize: a united Ireland. Woven into this political maelstrom are the stories of the people who lived through those difficult years. Bold, fearless and compelling, "The Emergency" is a unique and important addition to any understanding of Ireland and the Second World War.
SAS: The History of the Special Raiding Squadron ‘Paddy’s Men’ by Stewart McClean
Hardback; 30 Euro / 36 USD / 20 UK; 160 pages [Add To Basket]
Extensively researched and accompanied by many original photographs, this history of the Special Raiding Squadron details the formation of the unit, the lives of the men and their operations during the Sicilian and Italian campaigns and the extraordinary man who commanded the squadron, Robert Blair Mayne DSO or Colonel Paddy as he became famously known throughout the world. Illustrated with never-seen-before photographs from the men involved, this book is the first detailed history of this relatively small but vitally important unit.
Ireland During World War Two by Ian S. Wood
Hardback; 15.00 Euro / 18.00 USD / 12.00 UK; 180 pages with black-and-white photos throughout [Add To Basket]
The claustrophobic years of the Second World War were a crucial watershed for neutral Ireland and the Irish. Neutrality was the key to Irish Prime Minister de Valera's foreign and domestic policy. Enforced economic hardship and isolation were seen by many as a blessing in disguise, hastening the new states coming of age. Many long lasting developments, such as the creation of a Central Bank signaled the beginning of the end of economic dependence on Britain. Neutrality ensured Britain, and more specifically Churchill, viewed Ireland with suspicion and barely concealed anger. Threats and inducements were used to persuade Ireland to allow the reoccupation of the Treaty Ports. Fear of IRA activity lead to increasingly draconian legislation. German spies were rumored to be forging links with an increasingly well-armed and militant IRA. Increased tension between Northern Ireland and the bombings of Belfast and Dublin raised questions about the viability of Ireland Neutrality.
A History of the Irish Naval Service by Aidan McIvor
Trade Paperback; 25 Euro / 30 USD / 20 UK; 250 pages with black-and-white photos throughout and a full colour photo insert [Add To Basket]
This book chronicles the important role of Ireland's seabourne military forces in the Civil War and in the Emergency and explains the rebirth of the Irish Naval Service in the late twentieth century. Ever since the Boreal Seas rose sufficiently to form the islands of Ireland and Britain some 8000 years ago, both have been dependant on water transport for their being. Their history has been formed by the sea from the days of the later Stone Age cultures to the present. In this century there have been so many changes to the approach of the Irish to the sea that Aidan McIvor's book is both timely and necessary. Much has been written about the manifold problems of Ireland and many books deal with her extraordinary history. But this is a book in a different category. Based on a great deal of research, it is the tale of the maritime country which, since the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, has consistently turned her back to the sea unless unusual events have caused a temporary change of heart.
Walled Towns in Ireland volume 1 by Avril Thomas
Large Paperback; 30 Euro / 36 USD / 24 UK; 210 pages [Add To Basket]
Town walls were a common heritage for many Irish towns over long periods. The majority date from the Anglo-Norman period, but trends can be recognised which represent common themes throughout the centuries, especially the use of walled towns as 'refuges' for colonization projects. This study identifies, through surviving structures and documentary and murage evidence, the walled towns of Ireland. It provides a comprehensive investigation of site, shape, size (walled area and circuit length), structure (curtain walls, gates and towers, fosse, ramparts, associated castle/forts and harbours) and construction, including length of time and financial arrangements. Defensive and other uses are considered. Volume 1 provides a comparative study of walled towns in Ireland, reviews the conceptual basis of towns, and considers the nature and the problems of the evidence available. The distribution of walled towns throughout Ireland is also examined from historical and geographical viewpoints.
Walled Towns in Ireland volume 2 by Avril Thomas
Large Paperback; 30 Euro / 36 USD / 24 UK; 210 pages [Add To Basket]
Volume 2 is the gazetteer companion of volume 1. It comprises most of the larger and more important walled towns and includes as well many of the smaller Irish towns and even some whose development failed to make progress.
The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty by Sebastian Barry
Paperback; 12 Euro / 15 USD / 8 UK; 310 pages [Add To Basket]
Following the end of the First World War, Eneas McNulty joins the British-led Royal Irish Constabulary. With all those around him becoming soldiers of a different kind, however, it proves to be the defining decision of his life when, having witnessed the murder of a fellow RIC policeman, he is wrongly accused of identifying the executioners. With a sentence of death passed over him he is forced to flee Sligo, his friends, family and beloved girl, Viv. What follows is the story of this flight, his subsequent wanderings, and the haunting pull of home that always afflicts him. Tender, witty, troubling and tragic, "The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty" tells the secret history of a lost man.
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