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Ireland: The Politics of Enmity 1789-2006 (Oxford History of Modern Europe) Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0198205555 ISBN-10: 0198205554

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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford History of Modern Europe
  • Hardcover: 632 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (October 11, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198205554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198205555
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,079,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


powerful and evocative...a tour de force...This is one o f the most significant works on Irish history published in the last twenty years Eugenio F. Biagini, Journal of 20th Century British History, absorbing, original and challenging tour de force of historical interpretation that Bew has achieved in this work. The virtues of historical scholarship and stylish exposition, which have marked the best of Bew's work from the very outset, are here in abundance...He has written an absorbing, engaged, immensely learned and passionately argued interpretation of the last two centuries of political conflict in important book... Gearoid Tuathaigh Galway Archaeological and Historical Society 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 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

About the Author

Paul Bew is Professor of Irish Politics, Queen's University, Belfast.

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mark Klobas VINE VOICE on April 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
It is an Irish proverb that states that there is no fate but the one we make for ourselves. This sentiment pervades Paul Bew's chronicle of the past two centuries of Irish history. Bew covers the island's past from the loss of autonomy under the Act of Union and the subsequent campaign to achieve the unfulfilled promise of Catholic Emancipation, through the growth of nationalism and the partition into the Ireland of today. Though his focus, as he explains in his preface, is on the perspectives underpinning the conflict between the Protestant British and Irish Catholics, what emerges as a persistent theme is the prevalence of missed opportunities, moments when the political actors could have made choices that might have tempered enmity and led to a more positive outcome for the Irish people. Not only does such an approach bring the long-dead figures to life, it also provides the reader with the challenge of viewing well-worn Irish history in a fresh new light.

Yet despite this perspective and the impressive research underpinning it, the book is wanting in two key respects. The first is minor, with the poor editing of the text and the notes. Both are pockmarked with errors, an annoyance in the footnotes, but more problematic in the text as the minor inaccuracies distort the meaning of some events (contrary to the text, for example, Neville Chamberlain's unity proposal was not made while he was prime minister, a detail that considerably diminishes the offer's importance). Such poor editing is disappointing to see in a book produced by a publisher of Oxford's distinction.

More disappointing, though, is the author's narrow focus.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By richard bridburg on July 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a very detailed and well sourced history of Ireland from 1790 to 2006. It is a book for those really interested in the British/Irish interaction. It takes time to absorb all the various nuances affecting legislation. It is impartial, so much so that I would not know whether the author was protestant or catholic, Irish or English. There are villains on both sides and excellent people also but most are people with human frailties, including the great names whom we all know. The effects of prejudice, the fact that government did not take care of social ills on either side of the Irish Sea, the horrors of the famine, the events leading up to Home Rule and the eventual Republic, the major actors involved, the narrowness of conservative catholicism and its effect on education and on English liberals all come to life in these pages. But this is an academic tome. It is very long and needs to be studied. For me it was well worth the time.
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By J. Kearney on October 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very well written, would recommend it for a lazy sunday afternoon read, author clearly gets his point across without boring the pants off you.
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