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The Rising: Ireland: Easter 1916 by Fearghal…

The Rising: Ireland: Easter 1916 (2010)

by Fearghal McGarry

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In the week after Easter in April 1916 less than two thousand members of the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizens Army seized sections of the center of Dublin, proclaimed an independent Irish Republic- and then waited for the British military response that would crush them. The rebellion was intended for all of Ireland, but only a few Volunteer units outside of Dublin mobilized. The hoped for shipment of arms from Germany was intercepted by the Royal Navy and Sir Roger Casement, a potential rebel leader who was landed from a German U-boat, was captured. This was a failed attempt at revolution- but as historian Fearghal McGarry writes in "The Rising: Ireland; Easter 1916" it was a failure that left a burning ember that would later ignite the Irish War of Independence.

McGarry's account relies heavily on the memoirs and correspondence of the men and women who were involved in the events, as well as press reports and official records- to convey a sense of the happenings as they were seen at the time. He shows clearly that the rebels in Dublin did not have the sympathy of most Dubliners during the Rising. The leaders of the revolt. Patrick Pearse, Tom Clarke, James Connolly and others, were idealists who presumed to speak for the people of Ireland in the name of the "Republic of Ireland". They expected to be defeated by the British Empire and to be executed- but believed that the example of their glorious defeat and the "blood sacrifice" of their lives would move their countrymen to take up the cause of a free Ireland.

McGarry agrees with other historians that the British authorities, in swiftly executing fourteen rebel leaders after secret trials, imposing martial law over all of Ireland, and arresting thousands of people who weren't involved in the Rising, managed to do what the rebels in the Rising itself at first failed to do- turn the majority of the Irish people into militant rebel sympathizers. Just how this came to be, McGarry tells with a study that combines reasoned analysis and narrative told with engaging and moving detail. ( )
  ChuckNorton | May 27, 2016 |
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Who is Ireland's Enemy?

Who is Ireland's enemy?

Not Germany, nor Spain,

Not Russia, France, nor Austria;

They forged for her no chains,

Nor quenched her hearths,

Nor razed her homes,

Nor laid her altars low

Nor sent her sons to tramp the hills

Amid the winter snow....

    Brian O'Higgins
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At ten minutes past midday on Easter Monday, 24 April 1916, thirty members of James Connolly's Irish Citizen Army approached Dublin Catle, the imposing complex of buildings that housed the Irish executive and functioned as the administrative heart of British rule in Ireland.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0192801864, Hardcover)

Based on a recently released trove of over 1,700 eye-witness statements, this gripping volume tells the story of the Easter Rising as seen through the eyes of the rebels themselves, capturing in crisp, unflinching detail what the nascent Irish revolution actually felt like. As it chronicles the activities of members of Sinn Féin, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, Cumann na mBan, and the Irish Volunteers, this compelling volume addresses a range of key questions that continue to divide historians of modern Ireland: What led people from ordinary backgrounds to fight for Irish freedom? What did they think they could achieve given the superior forces arrayed against them? What kind of republic were they willing to kill and die for? Fearghal McGarry deftly interweaves the oral history of the rank-and-file revolutionaries of the Rising into a comprehensive, yet powerfully affecting narrative--one that The Boston Globe called "vivid and compelling" and "a poignant mosaic of idealism, bravery, and humanity."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:28 -0400)

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