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Ireland: A Concise History from the Twelfth Century to the Present Day | [Paul Johnson]

Ireland: A Concise History from the Twelfth Century to the Present Day

Ireland is inarguably a beautiful, enchanted place. But its history is more turbulent, fascinating, and terrible than any other. From the first English presence in Ireland in the 12th century, through siege, rebellion, and civil war, to Irish ascendancy, home rule, and the present-day troubles, best-selling author Paul Johnson tells, with remarkable clarity and concision, the compelling story of this most remarkable island.
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Publisher's Summary

Ireland is inarguably a beautiful, enchanted place. But its history is more turbulent, fascinating, and terrible than any other. From the first English presence in Ireland in the 12th century, through siege, rebellion, and civil war, to Irish ascendancy, home rule, and the present-day troubles, best-selling author Paul Johnson tells, with remarkable clarity and concision, the compelling story of this most remarkable island.

©1980 Paul Johnson (P)1995 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“A lively, intelligent, sometimes provocative but always stimulating account of Ireland from the 12th century to our own….” (Sunday Telegraph)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.2 (22 )
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  •  
    MillenniumMike Aurora, IL United States 08-12-12
    MillenniumMike Aurora, IL United States 08-12-12 Member Since 2009

    Favorites are histories and mysteries. Once avid reader trying to pick up the pace again later in life.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A British history of the "Irish problem""
    What disappointed you about Ireland?

    It's written ENTIRELY from the English point of view. Example: In the first 2 hours there are dozens of quotes about Ireland, EVERY ONE of them from an Englishman. There's absolutely no effort made to present situations from an Irish point of view. This book is a rapid-fire recitation of the chronology of events that comprise England's efforts to settle and subjugate Ireland. The too-fast reader gives date after date of what the English tried to do to settle and civilize the wild Irish. There is absolutely nothing about Irish culture or day to day lives. It's just date after date of how the English did their best to come up with an "Irish solution." You learn about this commander or that monarch and the actions they took to advance English interests and domination in Ireland.Oliver Cromwell is portrayed as a noble peace-seeker who never harmed civilians. At one point an English commander is made to seem considerate because "he only executed 52" Irishmen.I can't imagine a more unbalanced or incomplete approach to presenting history. And, the reader at least enunciates well as she rushes to speed-read through this one-sided recitation of English efforts to conquer and control Ireland. I wasted a credit on this book, but it was one of only two books purporting to be histories of Ireland, and the other at 22 hours, was too long for what I was looking for.


    What could Paul Johnson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    A more balanced perspective, not just everything from English eyes. Why were the Irish unhappy? The Irish come across as ignorant, savages and ingrates.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Slow down. Written by a male author and read ultra fast by a female voice, I really got the impression that the male author read the book but they speeded up the play to get through the book quicker making the reader's voice sound faster and higher.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Ireland?

    I would have added some Irish perspectives, the impact of British actions on the Irish people, reasons for Irish dissatisfaction. The book seems as disrespectful of the Irish as the English were for centuries, so maybe in that case it serves a purpose -- to remind the Irish of the English attitudes that resulted in their political and social domination by England.


    Any additional comments?

    Find another book about Irish history, skip this one.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian Oxford Mills, ON, Canada 04-14-12
    Ian Oxford Mills, ON, Canada 04-14-12 Member Since 2005
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    "Another great consise history"

    I came into this book thinking Irish historys would be the same as Scotland -- a celtic people trying to fight off the English. Wrong! Ireland, because it's an island, and because it remained Catholic had a much different, and much worse history.

    Many interesting events here. How English invaders who stayed kept going native. How the 1790 rebellion was led by Protestants. How de Tocqueville found poverty in 19th century Ireland worse than anything he had seen in Europe or N America.

    Recommend this book to anyone wanting to know where the 'troubles' came from.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Riverside, CA, United States 02-14-12
    Mike Riverside, CA, United States 02-14-12 Listener Since 2007
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    "Ireland what a history"
    If you could sum up Ireland in three words, what would they be?

    It seems so old world. It has a history that gives my a need to travel there.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The way it is brought to life


    Which character – as performed by Wanda McCaddon – was your favorite?

    It is hard to choose one. It one was so riviting


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    What she explained about the struggles they had to overcome change.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Deborah
    Barrow in Furness, United Kingdom
    9/16/11
    Overall
    "Very badly narrated"

    I was looking forward to what I hoped would be a compelling story of the history of Ireland. The book may be factually correct but it is ruined by the narrator seeming to rush through the book as if she couldn't wait to get to the end. It certainly could not hold my attention. To cap it all, Wanda McCaddon evidently had not researched the book beforehand as on several occasions she pronounced some of the towns incorrectly! Reminded me of the worse kind of history lesson ... could have been fascinating but ruined by the delivery.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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