The French revolution had an electrifying impact on Irish society. The 1970s saw the birth of modern Irish republicanism and Orangeism, whose antagonism remains a defining feature of Irish political life. The 1970s also saw the birth of a new approach to Ireland within important elements of the British political elite, men like Pitt and Castlereagh. Strongly influenced by Edmund Burke, they argued that Britain's strategic interests were best served by a policy of catholic emancipation and political integration in Ireland. Britain's failure to achieve this objective, dramatised by the horrifying tragedy of the Irish famine of 1846-50, in which a million Irish died, set the context for the emergence of a popular mass nationalism, expressed in the Fenian, Parnell, and Sinn Fein movements, which eventually expelled Britain from the greater part of the island.
This book reassesses all the key leaders of Irish nationalism - Tone, O'Connell, Butt, Parnell, Collins, and de Valera - alongside key British political leaders such as Peel and Gladstone in the nineteenth century, or Winston Churchill and Tony Blair in the twentieth century. A study of the changing ideological passions of the modern Irish question, this analysis is, however, firmly placed in the context of changing social and economic realities.
Using a vast range of original sources, Paul Bew holds together the worlds of political class in London, Dublin, and Belfast in one coherent analysis which takes the reader all the way from the society of the United Irishman to the crisis of the Good Friday Agreement.
It is without doubt the most reasonable, up to date, rational, liberal and accommodationist unionist history Brendan O'Leary, Dublin Review of Books ...explores his chosen themes with originality, iconoclasm and a range of unexpected quotations Roy Foster, TLS Books of the Year Remarkable, formidably researched and fluently written Times Literary Supplement a remarkable survey Diarmaid Ferriter, Irish Times finely nuanced history ... [Bew] brings enormous authority to the subject. Michael Burleigh, The Sunday Times ...an historian of note and a distinguished commentator on the politics of modern Ireland; this study confirms his analytical skills... Edward Norman, Literary Review Bew ... is a master of elegant and pithy prose ... Ireland: The Politics of Enmity ... is unfailingly absorbing. Peter Hart, The Irish Times absorbing reading for all who are interested in Irish-British history. Morning Star [Bew] explores his chosen themes with originality, iconoclasm and a range of unexpected quotations. Roy Foster, Times Literary Supplement The book is dense yet easy to read Edward Norman, Literary News Paul Bew's book reconstructs the way that the language of hatred has been employed in Irish history; it also gestures towards much in politics that has been said or forgotten. London Review of Books Bew takes us with him through an engaged, questing and ongoing exploration. The journey is exhilarating, and the book indispensable. Marc Mulholland, Reviews in History
Series: Oxford History of Modern Europe
Number Of Pages: 632
Published: 16th August 2007
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.3 x 14.7 x 3.9
Weight (kg): 0.88