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1916 - the Easter Rising Hardcover – 1 Jan 2001

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Cassell (2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0304359025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0304359028
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 20 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,132,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Monkeycripple on 11 May 2006
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for an exciting, easily-readable account of the Easter Rising, then this is the book for you. It's written in Tim Pat Coogan's usual engaging style, and covers the background to the Rising, the events and the key personalities. The accounts of the street fighting are very well done, with lots of anecdotes from those who fought.

The only criticisms I have are firstly that it's very sympathetic to the Rebels - of course, this is no bad thing in itself, but it does affect the author's analysis of the events and reduces the book's objectivity, which makes it harder to see what was really going on. Secondly, it leaves out a lot of details that are covered in Charles Townshend's 1916 book, such as Austin Stack's critical failure to signal to the Germans to land the guns at Fenit, and the reasons for the failure of most of the country outside Dublin to rise, especially "rebel" Cork.

This is no dry academic account though, so maybe it's unfair to fault Coogan on these grounds. It's a great, brief history of the single most important event in modern Irish history, which started us on the path to freedom.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By mbc on 13 Jun 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great writer Tim Pat Coogan writes well about the Easter Rising of 1916 and discusses what went on in during the Easter rising. His other books covered the Rising but this one is a good companion book to his other books as it goes into detail of what happened during those fateful days.
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For years I stayed away from reading material like this because having been brought up in Dublin I was exposed to the legend of 1916 on an almost daily basis. Decades of objective distance made reading this book, the 1st for me by Pat Coogan, a real experience. Like Joyce in France I can envisage every single street,alleyway and place checknamed. I was always especially fond of Countess Markievicz (nee Gore Booth) and she comes out of this a real heroine. You can feel the tension build as the idealists,bathed in poetry and Irish myth, set forth on what was to be one of the most hopelessly heroic events in Irish and British history. What comes across is that this band of
poets,school teachers,lawyers,writers and English aristocrats were not
military people at all. But a band of people stuffed full of idealism and
pride that Easter 1916 in Dublin was the appropriate time for the 1st and
only Revolution on British soil of the 20th Century. No thuggery,
alcoholism, exploitation or foolishness was tolerated. The Constutution
signed by Pearse,Connolly et al called for equality in everything a small
free Ireland could offer. The rebels were easily cut to pieces by the
British army and navy. The subsequent summary executions (both de Valera and
Constance Markievicz escaped death by the skin of their teeth) was the very
wrong thing for Asquith to allow for it turned not just the Irish people
against his Liberal government but a large chunk of the world especially in
America. Pat Coogan guides us through all the differing levels of that
momentous week. Even hardened high-ranking British officers were impressed
at how the rebels handled themselves, not only with dealing with injured
Tommies, shipped in at short notice from the mainland,but in the degree of
dignity in the manner of their surrender.Read more ›
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul M on 28 Dec 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really enjoyable read and insight into the Easter rising.
Not being Irish I found it a very interesting insight into a nation uniting against a brutal dictator.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Graphic and Textual Masterwork of Coogan 16 Dec 2002
By farquharson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Not the same-old, same-old wordy, dry and painful Coogan we've come to know and expect. Concise, succinct and absolutely brilliant. Some of his very finest work details the events surrounding the events of the 1916 rising. This is really a must read and in the current hard cover addition a must-have for any serious student/collector of the troubles. An investment that will no doubt pay dividends.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Compelling narrative told with precision 2 July 2010
By Chesapeake - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tim pat Coogan has written a narrative history of 1916 that takes in the crucial political events that led up to the armed rebellion. He puts the Easter Rising completely within context of the time : the refusal of the Unionists to go along with the - passed by Westminster Parliament - Home Rule Bill. The Larne gun running which armed Ulster against the Parliament of Westminster's Home Rule Bill and the direct interference of the British Conservative Party in Irish affairs. Coogan details the rebellion in personal descriptions of the leaders and what they set out to do - and what they accomplished in terms of shaping modern Ireland. He quotes from many sources but one of the most poignant is from the Glasgow Observer of the week of the Easter Rising:

"No Irish Nationalist should grovel to his British neighbour over what happened in Dublin on Monday. It was simply the consequences of what happened earlier at Larne when the associates and followers of Sir Edward Carson flouted and defied the law of the land, held up it legal guardians and engaged in military operations".

I recommend this book for anyone who wants to get familiar with all the events - political and military - surrounding the Irish rebellion.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Informative, but not for the casual reader 31 Jan 2014
By Joe from Andover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I did find the book educational, but not so enjoyable. It's written more for a historian or someone with a deep interest than a casual reader looking for a narrative about the Rising. The book could have been much more interesting if it included a map of Dublin with the location of the rebel strongholds across the city - that would have made the Rising more tangible. And a glossary of the "actors", the leaders on both sides of the battle, that would have been welcomed by a reader who prior to this book knew no one by name besides Michael Collins and Éamon de Valera. At the same time, I learned a great deal about the international politics of the day:
1) the prospect of Home Rule was delaying tactic by conservatives and the English, meant to placate the Irish.
2) the false promise of Home Rule aggravated and emboldened the Nationalists in the south.
3) Germany was involved in attempts to arm the Protestants in the north and the Catholics in the south, all as a means to occupy and distract the British on the eve of World War I.
4) 35,000 rifles were shipped from Germany to Belfast in the north, against English law, and entry and distribution by the Protestants was allowed by the British authorities. A similar attempt to smuggle guns into the Catholic south was intercepted by the English navy. This is the root of the arguments between the Catholics and Protestants over "disarmament" in the last the last fifteen years in the context of the Good Friday Agreement.
All in all, an OK book and an educational read - though pedantic in its presentation.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Easter Rising 1916 13 Nov 2013
By don - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Only a true patriot like Tim Pat Coogan can recognize fellow patriots; an exciting read that brings out the emotions for the underdog and this small group certainly were;
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Short but dry 15 Jan 2010
By Katelynn Drudge - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
1916 is far shorter than most of Coogan's work, likely because the Rising itself lasted only a week, whereas the Troubles ( The Troubles: Ireland's Ordeal and the Search for Peace) could be argued anywhere from thirty to fifty years to far longer and the IRA (The IRA) has been in existence in some form off and on for more than ninety years now. The length does not make it a good introduction to Irish history for the casual reader. It is dry, spare facts, related in a prose style that is nearly a time line of events constructed into short sentences and paragraphs.

Of course, this is Coogan's style and an excellent one for straight history, which is exactly what 1916: The Easter Rising is. It is well-researched history, presented ably and backed up by reprinting many of his first-hand sources in the form of photos and orders. I was happily shocked to find a reprint of Padraig Pearse's signed surrender, for instance.

As an avid Irish hobbyist historian, I loved it and respect Coogan immensely for not embellishing the facts with opinion (although as a Coogan reader I'm familiar with his political leanings, they don't overpower the narrative here) or flowery language. The casual reader, however would probably be better served by finding a more accessible account of the Rising to hold their interest. I would even offer 1916: A Novel of the Irish Rebellion (Irish Century) by Morgan Llywelyn as a fictionalized account. As Llywelyn says, after all, "History tells how events happened. Fiction tells what it felt like."
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