The Story of Ireland: A History of the Irish People
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The Story of Ireland: A History of the Irish People

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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  123 ratings  ·  17 reviews
In this groundbreaking history of Ireland, Neil Hegarty presents a fresh perspective on Ireland’s past. Comprehensive and engaging, The Story of Ireland is an eye-opening account of a nation that has long been shaped by forces beyond its coasts.

The Story of Ireland re-examines Irish history, challenging the accepted stories and long-held myths associated with Ireland. Tra...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published February 3rd 2011)
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Patti
I read this book to learn about my ancestors and to understand the history of Ireland. It took me awhile because I read it carefully and took notes until I understood, but it was well worth it. The author tells the story clearly and well. I felt I understood Ireland better, especially the problems in Northern Ireland.
Charlie
Excellent overview of Irish history. Highly readable and exciting. Definitely a good introduction to the subject.
David Groves
I was wary of this history at the outset, since it was commissioned in conjunction with a television documentary. However, the author really knows his stuff. He has provided a full portrait of the triumphs and travails of the Irish over the past 3,000 years, although primarily over the past 2,000.

I find it a bit tedious for history books to provide primarily a recounting of wars and kings, but unfortunately, that's what most histories do. I wish they'd provide a better summary of what everyday l...more
Melissa
Apparently this book is a companion to a TV series by the same name. I would really like to see that series, if it's half as descriptive as this book it should be pretty good. But this book was well done, considering the amount of history that was crammed into a little over three hundred pages.

The Story of Ireland takes the reader through Ireland's history back to when the Christian religion first came into the country (and the story of St. Patrick) to modern times detailing the bombings and civ...more
Bob Price
Ireland....can you ever really know it?

the Story of Ireland is fast paced overview of the history of Ireland from prehistoric times to the modern day.

Neil Hegarty does the world a favor by presenting this overview in an easy to read fashion and one that really does feel like you are reading a story. He does his best to present the history of the small Island country from all different perspectives. For instance, he looks at the good that the Church brought to the island, but also gives a critic...more
Todd
The book presented a reasonably clear, concise and fairly even-handed survey of Irish history. (If anything, Hegarty seems to show the most sympathy for the indigenous Irish.) It includes the major events and people that shaped Ireland until today. Hegarty goes to some pains to show that Ireland's history was not a black-and-white story of Irish vs. foreigners or Catholics vs. Protestants, but shows how the various sides in Ireland's many conflicts have often been more mixed and complex. As has...more
megan / redwitch
this book was exactly what i wanted - a sweeping overview of irish history as an introduction to the proper timeline of events not necessarily gritty details. the authors style was easy to read and some insights drawn without falling into either camp around points of contention - which i thought was refreshing and impressive given the subject matter. i would recommend it to anyone looking for the same, & view it as a jumping off point to now decide what eras i might want to read about in mor...more
Caitlin Alka
I found it fascinating, but as the book went on, it got slower and slower.
Lauren
This was such a great book. I'm so so so glad I read it before my trip and it is exactly the perfect book for me to have read before I go. It was a really clear, interesting, easy to read history of Ireland from the Roman period to today. It was also a great look at Northern Ireland and the Republic and there was absolutely no bias. It was just really comprehensive. I cannot recommend it enough if you're planning a trip to Ireland or if you're just interested in Irish history.
Peter Mcloughlin
A good short history. It spends more time on international influences on Irish history and how the big picture of World history (mainly europe and America) played a role in Irish history. It is balanced story with nuance and complex figures not just the good guys (Irish) Bad guys (Brits) that one usually gets in Irish history.
Patricia
I gave the author 50 pages, but just couldn't get into a flow and stopped reading after that. The author's writing style and lack of structural organization made it difficult for me to understand his prose. It's unfortunate, as I was very interested in the subject matter.
Simon Yawin
While interesting, this book dragged on and took a long time to finish. Towards the end I found myself spacing out and skimming over large sections of text. Ultimately, it read more like a textbook and less like a story.
Gordon Day
My introduction to the troubled history of Ireland. Easy to read and a good overview, i definitely need to read more or read again to consolidate the information provided.
Carl
Good overview of Ireland's history, not as an isolated place, but within the context of Europe and the world at large. Plenty of mythbusting.
Liz
Thorough treatment of the history of the entire island, a tough thing to so in an atmosphere where everything is political.
Skyla Happy Go Lucky and Lost in Books
I honestly just skimmed this for info I wanted to know. It is quite involved and I also learnt something shocking from it too.
William
Readable history of Ireland from St. Patrick on.
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Neil Hegarty studied English at Trinity College Dublin, receiving his PhD in 1998 - and has since written short fiction, non-fiction, radio drama and journalism. His books include Dublin: A View from the Ground, a cultural history of the Irish capital over a thousand years; the best-selling Story of Ireland, written to accompany the BBC-RTE television history of the same name; and most recently Th...more
More about Neil Hegarty...
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“A vast charitable effort swung into action in order to head off widespread famine: a lecture tour of the United States undertaken by Parnell early in 1880 ensured publicity for the plight of Ireland and generated substantial relief funds; the US government dispatched a supply ship, which docked at Queenstown in the spring of 1880; and ships of the Royal Navy landed relief supplies along the west coast. Significantly,” 0 likes
“the new league, however, this structure was promising: it was a constitutional carapace that sheltered” 0 likes
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