Unhappy the Land The Most Oppressed People Ever, the Irish?

Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 2016-01-01
Publisher(s): Merrion Press
List Price: $95.99

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In Unhappy the Land, author Liam Kennedy poses fundamental questions about the social and political history of Ireland and challenges cherished notions of a uniquely painful past. Images of tragedy and victimhood are deeply embedded in the national consciousness, yet, when the Irish experience is viewed in the larger European context, a different perspective emerges. The author's dissection of some pivotal episodes in Irish history serves to explode commonplace assumptions about oppression, victimhood, and a fate said to be comparable 'only to that of the Jews.' Was the catastrophe of the Great Famine really an Irish Holocaust? Was the Ulster Covenant anything other than a battle-cry for ethnic conflict? Was the Proclamation of the Irish Republic a means of texting terror? And, who fears to speak of an Irish War of Independence, shorn of its heroic pretensions? Kennedy argues that the privileging of 'the gun, the drum, and the flag' above social concerns and individual liberties gave rise to disastrous consequences for generations of Irish people. Ireland might well be a land of heroes, from Cuchulainn to Michael Collins, but it is also worth pondering Bertolt Brecht's warning: 'Unhappy the land that is in need of heroes.' *** "...an excellent work for teachers, tutors and lecturers alike. From the front cover to the final paragraphs the reader is challenged to think again on many assumptions about our national narratives. As we drift out of the decade of centenaries towards the uncertainties of being neighbour to a non-EU state, such rethinking and understanding of the past as Kennedy exemplifies here will be all the more necessary." --Irish History Review, January 31, 2018 *** Librarians: ebook available on ProQuest and EBSCO [Subject: History, Irish Studies]

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