The Irish Revolution and its Aftermath
Charles Townshend reviews three new contributions to the historiography of the Troubles.
- The Irish Revolution and its Aftermath 1916-1923: Years of Revolt by Francis Costello
Irish Academic Press, Dublin 452pp. £35
ISBN 0 7165 2633 6
- The Irish War of Independence by Michael Hopkinson
Gill & Macmillan, Dublin 274pp. £40
ISBN 0 7735 2498 3
- Armed Struggle: A History of the IRA by Richard English
Macmillan, London 486pp. £20
ISBN 1 4050 0108 9
HISTORY TODAY BOOKSHOP PRICE £17
At a moment when the peace process in Northen Ireland teeters on the brink of resolution – or paralysis – a grasp of historical perspective remains vital. This is not because Ireland is (as some suggest) locked in an unchanging timewarp, but because the issues powering the conflict are very much the unfinished business of the period sometimes called the Irish revolution. In the decade bracketing the First World War, the key geopolitical tensions of twentieth-century Ireland were locked in place through the establishment by the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty of a twenty-six county Irish state governed from Dublin, with a six-county ‘statelet’ in the north-east, governed from Belfast.