'Erudite and stimulating
impressive research' -- Sunday Tribune
'Girvins story is one of brinkmanship and political poker' -- Scotland on Sunday
'especially excellent in its depiction of shuttle diplomacy involving de Valera and the Americans' -- Scotland on Sunday
'his rigorous study is a fresh, well-argued, agenda-setting discussion of its subject' -- Scotland on Sunday
Brian Girvin has written a fresh and original history of Ireland between 1939 and 1945. Drawing on new sources and recent scholarship, he tells the story of what is known as The Emergency in Ireland, but elsewhere as the Second World War. Despite Ireland still being a member of the Commonwealth, Eamon de Valera refused to join the war against Nazi Germany and declared his country neutral. To the endless frustration and anger of Churchill and later Roosevelt de Valera pursued an isolationist policy that changed the course of Irish domestic and foreign politics. In this brilliantly argued account, Girvin shows how this policy went against the national interest, and far from being the only option for the Government, was simply the only one they would consider. This decision, Girvin concludes, cost de Valera his ultimate prize: a united Ireland. Woven into this political maelstrom are the stories of the people who lived through those difficult years. Bold, fearless and compelling, The Emergency is a unique and important addition to any understanding of Ireland and the Second World War.