Love is never defeated, and I could add, the history of Ireland proves it… Pope John Paul II


There were two revolutions in the twentieth century where the native peoples threw out a foreign occupying power and restored their freedom. In the first decades of the century the Irish managed to rescue 26 of 32 counties from British colonial rule. In the last decades of the century the Poles managed to drive the Soviet occupation forces from their borders for the first time since the end of the second world war. There were many other revolutions during the century – some to end feudal monarchies and many to impose the totalitarianism of the proletariat – but these were the only two with the avowed purpose of establishing democratic republics that succeeded in both establishing and sustaining them. If you study the similarities of the two uprisings you will find that both countries had strong cultural ties to the Roman Catholic Church and its fundamental teaching about the rights of man. Maybe when we look at the violence that has spread through Latin America replacing dictators with maximum leaders who in turn are replaced with rational managers we can see that the liberation theology is no where near as liberating as first suspected and that a critical reappraisal is in order.

The rising: Ireland Easter 1916 Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2010 Fearghal McGarry Ireland History Easter Rising, 1916 Hardcover. 1st. ed. and printing. xiii, 365 p.: ill., maps; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [294]-299) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

At ten minutes past midday on Easter Monday, April 24, 1916, thirty members of James Connolly‘s Irish Citizen Army launched a raid on Dublin Castle – the citadel of British rule in Ireland. Although what happened next has become an integral touchstone of Irish independence, as well as the subject of many political, military, diplomatic, and local studies, no source has described the events of the Easter Rising as seen through the eyes of those who lived through it – until now.

Based on a recently unarchived trove of over 1,700 eye-witness statements, The Rising tells the story of this seminal event from within and below. In crisp, unflinching detail, it draws upon the personal experiences of the men and women who emerge from the margins of history to convey what the nascent Irish revolution actually felt like.

As it chronicles the activities of members of Sinn Féin, the Irish Republican Brotherhood and the Irish Volunteers, this compelling volume addresses a range of key questions that continue to divide the historians of modern Ireland: What led people from ordinary backgrounds to fight for Irish freedom? What did they think they could achieve given the superior forces arrayed against them? What kind of republic were they willing to die for?

For the first time, author Fearghal McGarry deftly interweaves the oral history of the rank-and-file revolutionaries of the Rising into a comprehensive, yet powerfully affecting narrative – one that uncovers the rebels’ motives and aspirations while highlighting the importance of the Great War as a catalyst for the uprising. McGarry concludes with a thought-provoking exploration of the Rising’s revolutionary aftermath, which saw the creation of an Irish parliament, Dáil Éireann, and the Irish Republican Army’s armed campaign to win independence.

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