Cover image for Ireland in the Twentieth Century
Ireland in the Twentieth Century
Coogan, Tim Pat, 1935-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.

Physical Description:
xv, 862 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map ; 25 cm
General Note:
"First published in 2003 by Hutchinson"--T.p.verso.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DA959 .C79 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



A rousing history of Ireland in its most tumultous century by one of the most well-known and beloved Irish writers of our time. Tim Pat Coogan's Ireland in the Twentieth Century will be a must-read for his legion of fans and anyone interested in Ireland's path through the twentieth century. Encompassing the violent and bloody days of the early twentieth century and peopled with such characters as Michael Collins, Eamon DeValera and James Joyce, this promises to be one of the most popular histories of Ireland yet written. Bringing the story up to the present day, Ireland in the Twentieth Century will become, like Coogan's The IRA and The Troubles, standard bearers in the canon of Irish history.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Coogan, the respected biographer of Eamon De Valera and Michael Collins, takes a fascinating in-depth look at the country that went from colony in 1900 to economic dynamo by the advent of the 21st century. Coogan takes illuminating looks at De Valera, who gave a face to Irish nationalism, and Collins, who, through his superb intelligence network and the handiwork of his personal assassination squad, terrorized the British out of Ireland. Although no fan of De Valera, Coogan shows what a master politician he was during WWII as, under threat of invasion by the British, he stood firm for Ireland's neutrality, while at the same time accommodating the British by returning downed airmen. One of the heroes of the Irish century is Se n Lemass, who went from being one of Collins's gunmen to being prime minister, starting to bring Ireland out of its economic doldrums. During his regime, from 1959 to 1967, Lemass instituted many changes in education and laid the groundwork for Ireland to join the EEC (which became the EU in 1993). Coogan compares the government of Northern Ireland and its policies toward Catholics to "South Africa under apartheid." He shows how, by gerrymandering, the Unionists stripped Catholics of all power in the "Six Counties." This powerlessness resulted in the civil rights marches of the 1960s, which, when repressed, nourished the long-dormant IRA. Coogan goes through the long process that led to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and fully credits the work of Bill Clinton, U.S. Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, Sinn F?in leader Gerry Adams and Prime Minister Albert Reynolds. The politics and culture of Ireland changed dramatically in the 20th century, and Coogan has done a masterful job of taking a very complicated history and making it lively reading. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

Veteran journalist-broadcaster Coogan is a prolific author of Irish biographies and histories, and his subjects include Eamon de Valera, Michael Collins, and the IRA. His latest work has the virtues and faults of its predecessors. Among the former are serious research, hard-nosed realism, enormous background knowledge, skill in making connections and reading between lines, and--not least--readability. Weighed against these, unfortunately, are slapdash and discontinuous writing, minimal editing, proneness to factual errors, and partisanship. Treating Northern Ireland disproportionately, Coogan deals thoroughly with its Troubles and "peace process," but hastily surveys southern politics and economics after 1970 and says little about the post-1990 "Celtic Tiger." Despite its weaknesses, the book is recommended for all Irish collections for its valuable anecdotes, interview extracts, and personal reportage, which will not be found elsewhere. The best detailed history of 20th-century Ireland, although dated, remains Joseph Lee's Ireland, 1912-1985 (CH, Jul'09), while Charles Townshend's Ireland--the 20th Century (1999) is the best short history. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All libraries. D. M. Cregier University of Prince Edward Island

Table of Contents

Illustrationsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Chapter 1 Grasping the Orange Nettlep. 1
Chapter 2 Aftermath and Civil Warp. 60
Chapter 3 From Blood to Book-Keepingp. 142
Chapter 4 Ourselves (Very Much) Alonep. 230
Chapter 5 Stormont: A Body Impoliticp. 298
Chapter 6 Republicans Fall and Rise, Croziers Fallp. 326
Chapter 7 Lemass: The Window-Openerp. 419
Chapter 8 The Green Flickers Out, The Orange Ignitesp. 459
Chapter 9 Decade of Dissensionp. 511
Chapter 10 Paisley the Parliamentarianp. 544
Chapter 11 Sinn Fein Re-emergesp. 578
Chapter 12 The Peace Processp. 649
Chapter 13 Culture and Societyp. 697
Notesp. 755
Acknowledgements and Sourcesp. 784
Bibliographyp. 785
Appendicesp. 811
Indexp. 823