Ireland: A History

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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.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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.
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From the Publisher
"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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107422346
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/30/2011
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 642
  • Sales rank: 401,565
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Bartlett is Professor of Irish History at the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy, University of Aberdeen. His previous publications include The Fall and Rise of the Irish Nation: The Catholic Question, 1690–1830 (1992), A Military History of Ireland (1996, with Keith Jeffery) and Revolutionary Dublin: The Letters of Francis Higgins to Dublin Castle, 1795–1801 (2004).
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Table of Contents

1. Early Ireland, AD 431–1169; 2. From lordship to kingdom: Ireland, 1169–1541; 3. The making of Protestant Ireland, 1541–1691; 4. Ireland's long eighteenth century, 1691–1830; 5. From Union to disunion: Ireland, 1830–1914; 6. The making of the two Irelands, 1914–1945; 7. Hubris and nemesis: the two Irelands, 1945–2010.
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