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A segment of modern history that- after years of horrified attention- is fast fading into the past, the partition of Ireland and the setting up of an indedependent republic, Eire. What has happened makes sense only against its historical background, and the story of Ireland from St. Patrick to De Valera is the result. A turbulent story it is, as recounted by a good historian and story teller who loves Ireland. Legend and historical fact are intermingled in her ancient history. She had had centuries of human occupation when the Gaels arrived; she was invaded many times up to the Great Famine, and many strains intermingled; she was survived centuries of splendour and misery. The relations with Great Britain were recurrently strained, and Coercion Acts on England's side, the Fenian movement, stemming from America, on the other, brought hate and violence. Parnell's leadership offered inspiration, but his private life brought his downfall. Disorders mounted, blood flowed, and when order was restored and the Free State established, it was unhappy in division, but stabilized in government under De Valera. With World War II, neutrality was bought at a price- a necessary one. Slowly, mechanized agriculture and industrial plants are bringing economy into line. With freedom from foreign domination for the first time the future seems more important than the past. The golden age of St. Patrick is gone; the revolutionary years are fading into history; force is no answer to the conflict between Dublin and Belfast- but eventually an answer may be found. ...Specialized market this, for educators and laymen interested in modern history. The angle, while mainly non-partisan- is weighted towards the Catholic viewpoint.

Pub Date: Nov. 10th, 1954
Publisher: Morrow