Bitter Freedom: Ireland in a Revolutionary World


Product Details

Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
6.5 X 9.2 X 1.7 inches | 2.0 pounds

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About the Author

Maurice Walsh is the author of The News from Ireland: Foreign Correspondents and the Irish Revolution, a Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year choice in 2008. As a foreign correspondent, he has reported from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the United States, and Europe. His essays, reviews, and reportage have appeared in Granta, the London Review of Books, the Dublin Review, and the New Statesman. He was Knight Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan in 2001, Alistair Horne Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford, in 2010-11, and teaches journalism at Brunel University in London. He lives in Oxford.


The great strength of this compelling book is that it manages to make large and abstract arguments while conveying a sense of the lived experience of the Irish revolution. With one hand, Maurice Walsh widens his lens, while simultaneously he applies a magnifying glass with the other. The result of this dexterity is an arresting set of Big Pictures interspersed with a sequence of vivid miniatures. Indeed, the particular originality of the work lies in the striking conjunction of images.
Maurice Walsh is a gifted writer with a novelist's eye for the illuminating detail of everyday lives in extremis...The great strength of Walsh's book is its breadth of vision. His book challenges parochial tendencies in the revolutionary story.
Maurice Walsh's invigorating account of the revolution and its immediate aftermath starts after the Rising, and firmly locates the Irish crisis in the postwar Europe described by Thomas Masaryk as 'a laboratory atop a vast graveyard'. Vivid and incisive, his approach highlights discontinuities and contradictions among the revolutionaries.
Maurice Walsh's book is the most vivid and dramatic account of this epoch to date: if you want to feel the full horror of Bloody Sunday in Dublin and the 'sacking' of Balbriggan by the Black and Tans, this is the place to look.
Bitter Freedom is a wonderfully involving work: vividly written, with a storyteller's eye for human detail and a scholar's sense of broader and deeper movements over time. Anyone interested in Irish history will find the book riveting.--Joseph O'Connor, author of Star of the Sea