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Re-Imagining Ireland: How a storied island is transforming its politics, economics, religious life, and culture for the 21st century [Hardcover]

Andrew Higgins Wyndham
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

November 22, 2006 0813925444 978-0813925448

Over the past decade the historically strife-ridden and impoverished nation of Ireland has emerged as one of the economic and social miracles of Europe. A booming software-based economy dubbed "the Celtic Tiger" has spurred an escalating standard of living, an influx of diaspora returnees and other immigrants, enormous growth in housing and infrastructure, and an uncommon flourishing in the arts. As a result, the Irish find themselves confronted with a new set of questions about who they are, where they are going, and how they will get there.The present volume is the outgrowth (though not the proceedings) of an unprecedented conference featuring more than one hundred renowned Irish writers, scholars, artists, musicians, and political and religious figures, who converged in Charlottesville in May of 2003 under the auspices of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Over four days, participants engaged in a broad and lively consideration of the present realities and future trajectory of Irish culture: Re-Imagining Ireland, the book, comprises a generous and varied sampling of their voices and views. Each of the ten main essays is followed and beautifully complemented by shorter, topically related pieces from the likes of Roddy Doyle, Colm Tóibín, and Frank McCourt, among others. The essay by Declan McGonagle, chairman of the Department of Art and Design at the University of Ulster, is supplemented by a selection of images from the Irish Museum of Modern Art, which were featured in a special exhibition at the original conference. This volume also includes a DVD of the companion documentary film Re-Imagining Ireland, which has aired on several PBS stations as well as on RTÉ (Irish public television).

ContributorsFintan O'Toole * Helen Shaw * Peter McVerry * Liz O'Donnell * Peadar Kirby * Theo Dorgan * Colm Tóibín * Frank McCourt * Larry Kirwan * Lenwood Sloan * Luke Gibbons * Roddy Doyle * Michael Collins * Noel Ignatiev * Angela Bourke * Aodán Mac Póilin * Declan McGonagle * Malcolm Maclean * Susan McKay * Fintan O'Toole * Arthur Aughey * Ed Moloney * Nuala O'Loan * Joe Lee * Kerby A. Miller * Patrick Griffin * Henry Glassie * Mary P. Corcoran * Pat Cooke * Roy Foster * Mick Moloney * Nicholas Carolan * Jean Butler * Martin McLoone * Trish McAdam * Rod Stoneman

Published in association with Virginia Foundation for the Humanities


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Re-Imagining Ireland: How a storied island is transforming its politics, economics, religious life, and culture for the 21st century + Ship of Fools: How Stupidity and Corruption Sank the Celtic Tiger
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This volume is a sparkling example of the ways in which interdisciplinary scholarship can broaden our understanding not just of a specific place (Ireland), but of a much larger problem (globalization), and it does so with a daring and flair that ought to attract a wide audience." -- H-Net Book Review

"[A] sparkling example of the ways in which interdisciplinary scholarship can broaden our understanding not just of a specific place (Ireland), but of a much larger problem (globalization), and it does so with a daring and flair that ought to attract a wide audience." -- Mark Doyle, H-Net

About the Author

Andrew Higgins Wyndham, Director of Media Programs at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, organized the Re-Imagining Ireland conference and served as director and executive producer of the nationally broadcast documentary, which was developed in collaboration with Paul Wagner Productions and Radio Telefis Éireann.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: University of Virginia Press (November 22, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813925444
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813925448
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,419,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Historians & critics review Irish past & future October 23, 2007
Format:Hardcover
The University of Virginia hosted a 2003 conference convening many prominent academics, writers, musicians, artists, and journalists who pondered Ireland's past and present predicaments as consumerism and globalism overtake tradition and conservatism there. This handsome volume collects ten historically focused presentations by plenary speakers, along with shorter pieces accompanying the longer essays. (A documentary DVD is also included.) While predominantly scholarly, mirroring its venue, this anthology tends to (at its best), diminish campus shop-talk and reliance on theoretical jargon and can be read (at its best) by anyone wanting a realistic view of Irish change. Most of those who add their voices here speak positively, reflecting a neo-liberal, largely secular, and consistently pro-growth and pro-immigration standpoint which will surprise any listener or reader of the mainstream Irish media not at all. This is meant less as a criticism than a reality. It'd be doubtful that the Irish and American governments, political entities, fundraisers, corporations, and the long list of financial backers that prefaces these essays would have it any other way. The editor, Andrew Higgins Wyndham, thanks many influential wheelers and dealers. I expected that such growth as they profit from is, according to the professoriate and the literati, great for the Irish, and I was not-- for the most part-- surprised by what I read.

Here's an overview. Helen Shaw takes on the clichéd Celtic Tiger, and voices join hers in seeking out who benefits and who has yet to do so-- the poverty endemic within parts of Ireland, at least as of 2003, remains higher than one might suspect. Theo Dorgan takes, being a poet, a Wallace Stevens-inspired 13 ways of looking at globalism in Ireland.
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