As we enter the “decade of centenaries” that marks 100 years since many of the founding events of the Irish Republic, a whole slew of books focusing on the revolution and subsequent civil war are being published.
Fergal Tobin’s The Irish Revolution: An Illustrated History 1912-1925 is an excellent one-volume introduction to this contentious corner of Irish history. The great strength of the book is, perhaps surprisingly, not the pictures and maps — although they are extensive and very well integrated into the text — but the clear way the author sets out the shifting political world views of Irish people at the time. One of the remarkable things about this time is that the population moved from a point where the partition of Ireland was not even conceivable in 1912, to becoming the only possible solution a decade later. Read the rest of this entry »