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Ireland: A History Hardcover – Jul 5 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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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: 17.4 x 3.3 x 24.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #448,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Based on wide reading, clearly structured, elegantly expressed, spiced with a sardonic wit, steering a skilful course through the treacherous ideological rapids of Irish historiography, Bartlett's Ireland deserves to become a classic." J. J. Lee, author of Ireland,1912-1985

'Vivid and nuanced, personal and scholarly, this audacious survey of the Irish past and present is magisterial in its range, but full of novelistic details, unexpected insights and wry observation. Professor Bartlett has the gift of explanation without simplification." -Declam Kiberd, author of Inventing Ireland: The Literature of the Modern Nation

'There are other single volume histories which cover the Iron Age through to the present but this accomplished and judicious book is by far the best, and will be read with interest and favour by both scholars and a wider audience. It will naturally take its place alongside the most-distinguished survey-writing on Irish history." -Alvin Jackson, author of Home Rule: An Irish History, 1800-2000

"Bartlett superbly meshes social, political, and military factors to explain why the Irish, from either the north or the south, are the way they are. Both professional historians and general readers will enjoy this fine examination of the rich and varied history of this storied land." -Booklist, Jay Freeman

"this is the best single-volume history of the island." -History Ireland

''Ireland: A History is compulsive reading." -The Australian

"...Bartlett's volume makes a valuable contribution to the field, offering a narrative that lacks neither ambition nor spirited wit. Highly recommended." -Choice

"the strength of this book is that the author is not striving to please any party; rather he is struggling to give a judicious appraisal of what happened over time and to present this in lucid prose with frequent witty interjections. In this, he succeeds magnificently, and I have every confidence that this volume will attract the wide and international readership it deserves within the academy and with the educated public." -H-Albion

" have yet to read a single-volume history that covers the full sweep of Irish heritage as well as Thomas Bartlett's Ireland: A History." -Ann Pedtke, Historical Novels Review

Book Description

A magisterial new history of Ireland from prehistory to the present. Examining Irish politics, society, culture and economic history, Thomas Bartlett traces the long evolution of the two Irish states which emerged in the early twentieth century as well as the problems that confront them both in the twenty-first century.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A work in progress but requires slow going for me as there are a lot of terminology I am not familiar with..
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this as a gift for my Mom. She loves this book, found it very interesting.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa0621dd4) out of 5 stars 15 reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa060d900) out of 5 stars Well Written, Up to the Minute History April 17 2011
By Patrice - Published on Amazon.com
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.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa05c9c9c) out of 5 stars Enjoyable read Nov. 30 2011
By Roy - Published on Amazon.com
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa05c9c24) out of 5 stars Great, very complete history Sept. 5 2013
By Emily M. - Published on Amazon.com
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa060e3b4) out of 5 stars Textbook size but neither tiresome nor dull Sept. 28 2014
By Thomas R,. Shaver - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is indeed a very well written and comprehensive one volume history of Ireelaand. Textbook size but neither tiresome nor dull ... one gets a feel for the ebb and flow of events in the life of the Emerald isle. I recommend it highly.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa05f3bdc) out of 5 stars Finely argued Sept. 5 2015
By Deirdre McCloskey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Finely written and argued. A serious scholarly history---not TimeLife material. I was worried about the early chapters of the book, which focused tightly on the relation of the English to Ireland, a bit as though Ireland was an after thought. But later the relation with England becomes so central to Irish history that one can't complain.

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