It is significant that it begins in 1900 and ends in 2000 - most accounts have begun in 1912 or 1922 and largely ignored the end of the century. Politics and political parties are examined in detail but high politics does not dominate the book, which rather sets out to answer the question: 'What was it like to grow up and live in 20th-century Ireland'? It makes extensive use of unused or neglected sources. It deals with the North in a comprehensive way, focusing on the social and cultural aspects, not just the obvious political and religious divisions.
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Diarmaid Ferriter teaches history at St Patrick's College, Dublin City University. He is the author of A Nation of Extremes: the Pioneers in 20th-century Ireland and Lovers of Liberty? Local government in 20th-century Ireland, and co-author with Colm Toibin of The Irish Famine.Review:
This is a landmark book, full of insight and intelligent judgement and sheer diligent research, which deals with the complexity of the Irish revolution and its aftermath. Ferriter is at ease in the world of high politics and policy-making, but it is his work on economic, social, cultural and gender issues, which makes his account of Ireland during this period itself a transformation in historical methodology * Colm Tobin * Ferriter deserves great credit for taking a more holistic approach to the narrative of 20th-century Ireland. -- Paul Bew * Sunday Times * The country enters the twenty-first century on a wave of prosperity and apparent self-confidence. The achievement of Diarmaid Ferriter's massive new history is to show just how hard-won this success has been ... This will be an influential book, and is a remarkable achievement. -- Roy Foster * The Guardian * There are no easy answers in this book to definitively explain the transformation of Ireland, but the journey is fascinating and well worth the effort. * Public Servant * Deeply honest ... This huge book is a rich study of Ireland in the twentieth century. It is a veritable mine of information. -- Tom Devine * Glasgow Herald * A timely and masterful new survey of twentieth-century Ireland. This is Ireland laid bare. -- Marianne Elliott, Professor of Modern History * Liverpool University * This is one of the most important books to be published this year -- John Bruton * Irish Independent * The most vivid and stimulating history of 20th century Ireland currently available. * Fintan O'Toole *
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