Synopses & Reviews
Ireland has rarely been out of the news during the past thirty years. Whether as a war-zone in which Catholic nationalists and Protestant Unionists struggled for supremacy, a case study in conflict resolution or an economy that for a time promised to make the Irish among the wealthiest people on the planet, the two Irelands have truly captured the world's imagination. Yet single-volume histories of Ireland are rare. Here, Thomas Bartlett, one of the country 's leading historians, sets out a fascinating new history that ranges from prehistory to the present. Integrating politics, society and culture, he offers an authoritative historical road map that shows exactly how - and why - Ireland, north and south, arrived at where it is today. This is an indispensable guide to both the legacies of the past for Ireland's present and to the problems confronting north and south in the contemporary world.
"Irish historian Bartlett doesn't dwell on fine details of battles, abuses, and catastrophes, but rather their effects on the anxious relations between English and Irish. In fact, in approaching this book, it's best if you have some background knowledge of the island. The English may have invaded Ireland in 1169 but they never truly conquered her. For 600 years Catholic, Protestant, and Scots Presbyterian worked together in their Sisyphean struggle to establish the rights of the Irish people. Attempts to sever the English yoke, violent and otherwise, were sporadic and poorly organized. The 1798 rebellion was the final straw for the English who, in 1800, passed the Act of Union, abolishing the already powerless Irish Parliament. The disestablishment of the Church of Ireland and elimination of its tithes in 1869 cemented the eternal enmity between Catholics and Protestants. To the now-unified Protestants, the cry of Home Rule paved a path to Catholic majority power. The partition of Ireland in 1919 took the struggle into its most desperate phase, with political, social, religious, and economic turmoil burdening the country throughout the 20th century. Even now, with the Celtic tiger licking some serious wounds, Ireland faces its future with nervous confidence. Bartlett delivers a clearly Republican perception of the island's history; those seeking the Unionists' viewpoint will need to look elsewhere." Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Magisterial political, social, cultural and economic history of Ireland from prehistory to the present by one of Ireland's leading historians.