Ireland entered the twentieth century savaged by poverty and memories of the famine but inspired by the Celtic Dawn, a remarkable cultural renaissance led by Yeats, Synge and Lady Gregory. She left it in the era of the Celtic Tiger, with unparalleled prosperity and a new, confident, outward-looking view of herself and the world - although this prosperity and self-confidence is now giving way to uncertainty.
In the intervening hundred years, Ireland has experienced more 'history' than almost any other country: beginning under the British crown, she was racked by revolution, the Anglo-Irish war, partition and civil conflict.
Led by towering figures such as Michael Collins and De Valera, she has suffered terrible hardships and disputes but has nevertheless provided brilliant cultural and literary examples and is now a country of importance in the wider international community, providing leadership in a variety of moral and development issues.
In this readable and authoritative study, Ireland's bestselling popular historian tells the extraordinary story of how contemporary Ireland came into existence. Covering both South and North and dealing with social and cultural history as well as political, this will surely become a definitive single-volume account of the making of modern Ireland.
Irish/British edition (1st cover image) published by Arrow Books
US edition (2nd cover image) published by Palgrave Macmillan
"A definitive work of history." - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"...a fascinating in-depth look at the country that went from colony in 1900 to economic dynamo by the advent of the 21st century...Coogan has done a masterful job of taking a very complicated history and making it lively reading." - Publisher's Weekly
"Articulate, eloquent, romantic and wonderfully self-deprecating ... oozes what Yeats once called 'an indomitable Irishry'." - Scotland on Sunday
"[It is] the result of great energy, imagination and painstaking detective work... It is a big book on a big topic. Don't just read it. Buy it and reread it." - Irish Times
"Well written, very readable and presented in a direct, judgmental style peppered with fine anecdotes... A tour de force." - Ireland on Sunday