The Irish Century
by Michael MacCarthy Morrogh
(Hardback; 25.00 IRP / 37.500 USD)
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Ireland's century has in large part been one of political, miliatry and religious struggle, all too often played out under the shadow of Westminister. From Gladstone's Home Rule Bill to the latest peace initiative put forward by the Labour Government, the author's text is informative, objective and often moving. He has expertly observed a socially, politically and economically changing Ireland, from the preconceptions of an industrially rich, predominantly protestant north to the deeply catholic, nearly medieval, and essentially agriculturally rooted south.
But no matter how she is protrayed, Ireland remains to the end enigmatic, exhausting, free-spirited, inspirational, her story a compelling one. The grim but fascinating historical mix - of the further struggle for devolution; the Easter Rising; the fight for independence; the Civil War; the more contemporary Troubles in the north where the impasse may yet have been broken, in comparison with the increasingly prosperous, optimistic and enlightened south were catholicism is now as much a taste as a faith - is leavened by enduring images of another Ireland. Gentle, quirky, provocative and humorous, it is this imagery which steals her people, landscapes and moods and draws them beautifully into the book, the whole resulting in an intimate and arresting picture of a turbulent, evolving and heroic nation.
The book contains over 250 black-and-white photographs from the Hulton Getty Picture Collection.
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