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English (politics, Queens Univ., Belfast) here broadens his scope after Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA to cover the entire history of Ireland. He offers a detailed look at the messy historical experience of a divided but fiercely proud community struggling against an occupying power finally to achieve victory. He primarily reviews the political issues and violent events after the Act of Union 1800, when there was more activity and certainly more documentation. English introduces the theories of nationalism and how it relates to power, struggle, and community-a complicated, emotional relationship that is necessary to understand, as nationalism came to be the dominant element of Irish society and politics. After its initial publication in the United Kingdom, this title won the 2007 Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize, given for works that promote peace and reconciliation in Ireland. Suitable for all public and academic libraries, where it can be shelved near Hugh Kearney's Ireland: Contested Ideas of Nationalism and History.
—Daniel K. Blewett