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A Nation and not a Rabble The Irish Revolution 1913-23 by Diarmaid Ferriter

A Nation and not a Rabble The Irish Revolution 1913-23


A Nation and not a Rabble The Irish Revolution 1913-23 by Diarmaid Ferriter

Packed with violence, political drama and social and cultural upheaval, the years 1913-1923 saw the emergence in Ireland of the Ulster Volunteer Force to resist Irish home rule and in response, the Irish Volunteers, who would later evolve into the IRA. World War One, the rise of Sinn Fein, intense Ulster unionism and conflict with Britain culminated in the Irish war of Independence, which ended with a compromise Treaty with Britain and then the enmities and drama of the Irish Civil War. Drawing on an abundance of newly released archival material, witness statements and testimony from the ordinary Irish people who lived and fought through extraordinary times, A Nation and not a Rabble explores these revolutions. Diarmaid Ferriter highlights the gulf between rhetoric and reality in politics and violence, the role of women, the battle for material survival, the impact of key Irish unionist and republican leaders, as well as conflicts over health, land, religion, law and order, and welfare.


This outstanding, carefully researched study by Ferriter, professor of Modern Irish History at University College Dublin, sets the bar high for good writing and scholarship. * Financial Times Summer Reading Pick 2015 * Ferriter has been to the forefront of scholarship of this particular period of our history and has brought vigour, detail and honesty to the often vexatious debate around events of this time...this engrossing and highly stimulating book offers a perfect companion to the debate * Sunday Independent * Ferriter's magisterial review of the period, the events and how they have been recorded and sacralised, chronicled, distorted or suppressed...brings the whole period to life with a vividness that reflects the cry of pain of the victim as well as the bombast of the gunman and the rhetoric of the politician...but the real value is in hearing the voices of ordinary people who are suffering...a wonderful book * Irish Independent * Very illuminating detail...simply setting violent events in context is a step forward. Thoughtful, balanced, even handed * Irish Times * ...The mighty mind this book comes from... rightly renowned for his voracious learning * Sunday Times * Tugs at the tapestry of myths surrounding the independence struggle and the civil war that followed * The Independent * Ferriter's book is of such comprehensive and original scope...immensely readable and impressive * Sunday Business Post * The uses and abuses of national memory and the compromising of revolutionary ideals form the spine of this excellent history of the Irish revolution...Ferriter is the outstanding young Irish historian of our time: robust, intellectually sophisticated and a master of the sources * Prospect * Ferriter is interested above all in the sources, what is preserved and what is forgotten, and the oblique shafts of light which they cast on a disputed history...fascinating * Spectator * What is most impressive is what it shows of the author's omnivorous appetite for includes a rich vein of material mined from the most recently released archives * Books Ireland * Powerfully shows how the mythology has taken shape...explores the grass-roots experience of Ireland's revolutionary decade. * New Statesman * This outstanding, carefully researched study by Ferriter sets the bar high for good writing and scholarship * Financial Times * an honest perspective and a valuable handbook for both the historian and the general reader * History Ireland *

About the Author

Diarmaid Ferriter is one of Ireland's best-known historians and is Professor of Modern Irish History at UCD. His books include The Transformation of Ireland 1900-2000 (2004), Judging Dev: A Reassessment of the life and legacy of Eamon de Valera (2007), Occasions of Sin: Sex and Society in Modern Ireland (2009) and Ambiguous Republic: Ireland in the 1970s (2012). His most recent book is A Nation and not a Rabble: The Irish Revolution 1913-23 (2015) He is a regular broadcaster on television and radio and a weekly columnist with the Irish Times. In 2010 he presented a three-part history of twentieth century Ireland, The Limits of Liberty, on RTE television.

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Book Info

Publication date

5th November 2015


Diarmaid Ferriter

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Profile Books Ltd


528 pages


20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000



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