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Ireland: A History Hardcover – Jul 5 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 648 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (July 5 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521197201
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521197205
  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 17.9 x 24.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #354,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brendan Buker on Feb. 8 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book which gives a great overview of Irish history. Uses lively language and attempts to remain as unbiased as possible. I had originally bought it after doing some research looking for the best single volume of Irish history and was very happy to discover it was also being used as required reading for a third level University class on Modern Irish history.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Well Written, Up to the Minute History April 17 2011
By Patrice - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The college class I am taking has greatly broadened my understanding of the reasons why Irish History developed the way it did. This book is a carefully thought out description of the facts and events. The writing style is very pleasant. The time period covered begins in 431, the date of the arrival Palladius, the first bishop of Ireland, and proceeds up to 2010. This is especially good that it is current enough to go beyond the Celtic Tiger. I enjoyed the book very much. A picture is worth a thousand words. The photographs and illustrations included have a lot to say.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Enjoyable read Nov. 30 2011
By Roy Madden - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Serious" history books tend to fall into two categories. The first is where the author seemingly wishes to impress the reader with his grasp of historical minutiae and use the book to recite a long list of dates and facts, leaving the reader to ponder whether life is too short and perhaps a spot of housework may be more enjoyable than enduring the read. The second type of history book is where the author can write a book that dispenses with endless facts and dates, and provides a summary of a historical event illustrating both its origin and its influence on future events. Inevitably the latter introduces some element of bias, but is typically a much more enjoyable read as the author provides some help to the reader in understanding the historical significance of events.

This book falls very firmly into the latter category and is the single best Irish history summary I've ever read. "Unputdownable" is not normally a word associated with histories, but this book had me staying up late and desperately waiting to get home from work to continue reading. Oddly, the strength of the book lies in the the 16th to 19th centuries, which is hardly the most swashbuckling and glamorous period in Irish history, but the author manages to make the era both understandable and an enjoyable read. For the first time I began to really understand the significance of figures (such as Tone) who found fame in that era and who are still part of present day Ireland.

The period on early Irish history isn't weak, but lacks the detail that is described in later periods. It is still an enjoyable read and serves the purpose of educating the reader on the origins of later conflict.

I didn't enjoy the final few chapters on modern day Ireland. There is analysis of history and there is moralising, and unfortunately the latter chapters I found preachy. It is a minor defect however.

The book is largely a political, economic and military history. It doesn't spend much time dealing with customs, costumes, "ordinary people" issues so to speak.

This also isn't a book for those looking for the tweedle dee tweedle dum history of Ireland, full of kings and maidens and pipers all playing and dancing at crossroads around a stack of shillelaghs while reciting poetry as gaeilge. It is a book if you want to understand where political thought on this complicated island has come from, understand the origins of major issues such as the role of violence in Irish Republicanism, and is a book if you want to find an excuse to escape from doing some housework.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great, very complete history Sept. 5 2013
By Emily M. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was very helpful for a grad class on Irish literature; knowing Ireland's history definitely helped with my understanding of the country's literature. My only gripe is that the book isn't organized in the best way, and is kind of sloppy with it's chronology. You often have to reference several different sections for information on one topic, which made a quick reference a bit annoying and difficult.
It was well written and easy to follow. April 23 2014
By Shelley Clark - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The facts were well written and it was easy to understand. It makes a good reference book and I can easily refer back or look up facts or time periods.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The history of modern Ireland Feb. 10 2013
By Katherine L. Triboli - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am not yet through the book. It is a hard slog. The information is what I wanted, but as many history books are, it is not fun to read. The author has an expansive vocabulary, and I have had to look up 20 words for a full definition. Bartlett's sense of humor shines through every once in a while, which releaves the tedium, but he uses far too many Latin quotes. Still I am glad I am reading the book. We are going to Ireland in May, and I don't like being ignorant on a destination.
Kit T.

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