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Not what I expected
on March 15, 2011
With a title like "101 Things You Didn't Know", I was expecting a list of fun facts and trivia items that could be pulled out on St. Patrick's Day during conversation. That's not what this is. Instead, it's a collection of 101 mini-essays (each of them several paragraphs long) going chronologically through the history of the Emerald Isle from prehistoric times to the present day. It's fairly light reading and is useful for the typical general interest reader who knows next to nothing about the Celts, the Book of Kells, or Bloody Sunday.
It is arranged into four sections: Ancient Ireland, Arrival of Christianity and the British, Preserving Irish Culture and History, and Emigration to Modern Life. There are also two appendices: one on Irish Gaelic pronunciation with a few basic phrases, and another with a very short collection of Irish proverbs and blessings.
After reading "101 Things You Didn't Know About Irish History", you will know a lot more about Ireland than a book of random fun facts could have taught. Sometimes it's good to have your expectations broken!