Synopses & Reviews
The Pope's Children
is botha celebration and bitingly funny portrait of the first generation of the Celtic Tiger—the beneficiaries of the economic miracle that propelled Ireland from centuries of deprivation into a nation that now enjoys one of the highest living standards in the world.
Named for the ironic coincidence of the Irish baby boom of the 1970s, which peaked nine months to the day after Pope John Paul II's historic visit to Dublin, the Pope's Children are overflowing with money, ambition and optimism—but they are also the most hedonistic, status-conscious and decadent Irish generation ever. They have abandoned the Old Irish Dream of Catholicism, nationalism and limited expectations in exchange for the New Irish Dream of instant gratification, material possessions and endless possibility.
A noted Irish economist, broadcaster and bestselling author, David McWilliams cleverly dissects and describes contemporary Ireland. He tells how "Wonderbra Economics" is raising living standards and pushing the social classes closer together. He describes how prosperity has given rise to two distinct social classes: the Decklanders, so named because of their obsession with backyard decks and rank materialism; and the HiCos, who are trying to fuse their Irish heritage with their newfound cosmopolitan values—sometimes with hilarious results.
A brilliant writer, McWilliams blends words into new and unexpected forms. You'll learn about "the Expectocracy," "Property Porn," the "Carrot Juice Contrarians," "RoboPaddy" and "Speed Bump Moms." Vividly and powerfully, McWilliams brings contemporary Ireland to life.
Witty, intelligent and irreverent, The Pope's Children tells the real story of Ireland's amazing economic and social transformation and the special generation that is changing the country forever.
Praise for The Pope's Children
"A brilliant guide for the layman . . . a deft dissection of social mores. It is all great fun and, you'll probably recognize yourself somewhere in there."
"A great read . . . David McWilliams is Ireland's most talked about young economist, often credited with coining the phrase Celtic Tiger. The Pope's Children not only explains how our economic boom got going, but how it changed people's lives here, not always for the better."
—John Spain, Irish Voice
"The definitive description of the Ireland we live in. Read it and weep."
"It's like Tom Wolfe meets the Celtic Tiger. . . . It is bright, pacy, clever and entertaining, irreverent and full of attitude."
—Jim O'Leary, Irish economist, The Village Magazine
"This is economics with soul. . . . If you want to know what modern Ireland
is really like, this is the book to read."
—Nick Rossiter, Rumbles.net
"Brilliant and funny."
Named for the ironic coincidence of the Irish baby boom of the 1970s, which peaked nine months to the day after Pope John Paul II’s historic visit to Dublin, The Pope’s Children is both a celebration and bitingly funny portrait of the first generation of the Celtic Tiger—the beneficiaries of the economic miracle that propelled Ireland from centuries of deprivation into a nation that now enjoys one of the highest living standards in the world.
About the Author
David McWilliams is a bestselling author and has been a regular on Irish television and radio since his award-winning Agenda current affairs program began in 2000. McWilliams—who also hosts a current affairs talk show, The Big Bite—has interviewed some of the most influential and thought-provoking individuals of our age, from Henry Kissinger and Mikhail Gorbachev to Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton. He has also published a new book in Ireland, The Generation Game. Before moving into writing and broadcasting McWilliams spent ten years in banking, first as an economist with the Irish Central Bank, then in investment banking with UBS—where he was appointed the youngest director ever at the age of twenty-seven.
Table of Contents
Preface to the North American Edition.
Part I. Where Are We Now And How Did We Get Here?
Chapter 1. Full-On Nation.
Chapter 2. The Great Blurring.
Chapter 3. The Pope's Children.
Chapter 4. The Kells Angels.
Chapter 5. The Expectocracy.
Chapter 6. Property Porn.
Chapter 7. Vorsprung Durch Kredit.
Chapter 8. RoboPaddy.
Chapter 9. The Protestant Catholics.
Chapter 10. The Economics of Envy.
Part II. Two Tribes: The Decklanders And The Hicos.
Chapter 11. Intermezzo.
Chapter 12. Deckland – A State of Mind.
Chapter 13. Deckland Awakes.
Chapter 14. Destiny's Child in Deckland.
Chapter 15. Deckland Dines Out.
Chapter 16. Seducing Breakfast Roll Man.
Chapter 17. Opposition to Deckland.
Chapter 18. The HiCo Emerges.
Chapter 19. The New Elite.
Chapter 20. The Early Years – Gaelscoileanna.
Chapter 21. HiCo Habits.
Chapter 22. How to Spot a HiCo.
Chapter 23. HiCos Dine In.
Chapter 24. The Returned HiCo.