Ireland: for most Americans the name conjures romantic images of mist-shrouded fields and rural vistas. But contemporary Ireland is radically different; it is an increasingly industrialized nation whose economy is firmly integrated with the rest of Europe. If a nation can be said to have a "soul," what is the state of Ireland's at the beginning of the 21st century? Concentrating primarily on the social, political, and economic changes that have swept Ireland in the past decade, O'Connell (social psychology, University Coll., Dublin) finds the Irish more individualistic, less concerned with the poor and disenfranchised, and tending to follow the U.S. model in seeking a reduction of the tax burden instead of following the European model of social well-being. According to O'Connell, the "new Irish psyche" is "right-wing and short-term," and it clearly makes him uncomfortable. Costello (philosophy and psychoanalysis at University Coll., Dublin) attempts a more esoteric search for the Irish soul through interviews with leading Irish figures and personal friends (e.g., writer Roddy Doyle, the Anglican and Roman Catholic archbishops of Dublin, his martial arts teacher). Much time is spent exploring the "depth and passion, sensitivity and spirituality" of each of the 12 men and four women interviewed. Although Costello comes to no discernible conclusions, the conversations are enjoyable in their own right. Both titles are recommended for academic and larger public libraries with Irish studies collections. Christopher Brennan, SUNY at Brockport Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.