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The Irish War of Independence and Civil War (Paperback)

P&S History > Social History P&S History > Social Science & Culture > Politics World History > UK & Ireland > Ireland

By John Gibney
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Series: Irish Perspectives
Pages: 176
Illustrations: 50 black and white
ISBN: 9781526757982
Published: 15th May 2020
Last Released: 30th March 2024



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In the aftermath of the First World War, a political revolution took place in what was then the United Kingdom. Such upheavals were common in postwar Europe, as new states came into being and new borders were forged. What made the revolution in the UK distinctive is that it took place within one of the victor powers, rather than any of their defeated enemies.

In the years after the Easter Rising of 1916 in Ireland, a new independence movement had emerged, and in 1918-19 the political party Sinn Féin and its paramilitary partner, the Irish Republican Army, began a political struggle and an armed uprising against British rule.

By 1922 the United Kingdom has lost a very substantial portion of its territory, as the Irish Free State came into being amidst a brutal Civil War. At the same time Ireland was partitioned and a new, unionist government was established in what was now Northern Ireland. These were outcomes that nobody could have predicted before 1914. In The Irish War of Independence and Civil War, experts on the subject explore the experience and consequences of the latter phases of the Irish revolution from a wide range of perspectives.

If you are looking for an overview of the 'Troubles' which led to Irish independence in 1921 and the subsequent civil war this is not the book for you. If, however, you are already familiar with the story you will be delighted with this collection of 19 essays by 21 Irish, British and American authors on different aspects of the two conflicts.

The essays range from broad topics such as the international aspects of Irish politics (did you know the IRA flirted with Mussolini?) to a statistical analysis of who joined the Black and Tans. An interesting and useful resource for students of the topic.

Historical Novels Review

The attention of members and supporters of the Bray Cualann Historical Society is drawn to a new book ‘The Irish War of Independence’, edited by John Gibney,

Wicklow People September 2021

This was a well researched and well thought out book. I learned a lot here as more than just the war of independence and civil war were dealt with. I can see myself referring back to this book regularly in the future such is the scope of Gibney’s research into this era. It wasn’t too taxing either, the language was well chosen and the subject matter well delivered.

NetGalley, Clara Carter

This book and the rest of the series is so well written and the authors chosen well that credit must go to John Gibney for the editing. I would recommend this book to others especially those at university level I would imagine that they would be a good help for studies in Irish history.

Read the full review here

UK Historian

I Enjoyed everything about this book there was nothing I didn't like about the book. I would gladly reread it again. I Would recommend this book to anyone.

NetGalley, Nicole Bannister

About John Gibney

John Gibney is a historian attached to the Royal Irish Academy's Documents on Irish Foreign Policy Project. He is a long-time contributor to History Ireland and is the author of A short history of Ireland, 1500-2000 (Yale University Press, 2018).

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