In the first section Mr. Dobrin remarks on vagaries of weather and temperament and charms of speech, on lush landscape and...

READ REVIEW

IRELAND: The Edge of Europe

In the first section Mr. Dobrin remarks on vagaries of weather and temperament and charms of speech, on lush landscape and severe Catholicism -- all proper introductory fodder; but suddenly ""Country Pleasures"" give way to three pages of ""Early History"" from which we jump to ""Political Life"" today and then it's every man for himself: ""The Tinkers,"" ""The Anglo-Irish,"" ""The Stage Irishman."" The book is so scrappy as to be worthless for reference (in the second section ""Political Division"" yields to ""A Spacious Georgian City""), so sketchy as to be unreliable for information, so flagrantly repetitious it's a nuisance to read. From the disorder a pattern does emerge -- of what can only be called disapproval of Irish Catholicism and disrespect for the Irish state. We're told, for instance, that so severe are religious pressures that they ""begin to show on the face of the average Irishman""; that not only is Ireland ""one of the most highly socialized countries in Western Europe"" (which, lacking an explanation, is a gross distortion) but furthermore ""the involvement of the Catholic Church in business. . . is to be presumed. . . as in socialist Italy""! This is so much flapdoodle on the face of it, and the allusions to ""behind-the-scenes business enterprises"" are so offensively reminiscent of 'Papist plots,' that such simple instances of factual bias as the mistreatment of De Valera (whom no one would know for an Irish hero) and the misrepresentation of the Ulster Catholic position are not to he wondered at. Worse than useless.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 1970

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Nelson

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1970