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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive eye-opener, skip the series buy the book
Neil Hegarty provides a fresh look at well-trod ground in an engaging and often humorous style. It's impressive that he spans Ireland's history from geological formation to the current financial crisis in a little over 300 pages. While this necessitates skimming the surface of some topics, there's plenty here that may surprise even the dedicated Irish history reader...
Published on 27 April 2011 by Southern View

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative
I realised from the TV series how ignorant I was of Irish history so decided to buy a book and this had high ratings on Amazon. The book has certainly taught me a great deal and appears to be even-handed. However, I found the early chapters a little turgid and, as a whole, I feel the book lacks insight and analysis. After the expectation, it was a disappointment.
Published on 2 Sep 2011 by Peter


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive eye-opener, skip the series buy the book, 27 April 2011
By 
Southern View (The Peoples Republic of Cork) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Story of Ireland: In Search of a New National Memory (Hardcover)
Neil Hegarty provides a fresh look at well-trod ground in an engaging and often humorous style. It's impressive that he spans Ireland's history from geological formation to the current financial crisis in a little over 300 pages. While this necessitates skimming the surface of some topics, there's plenty here that may surprise even the dedicated Irish history reader. Although written to accompany the BBC/RTE series, I like the book far better and found it much more informative.

Fergal Keane's intro is dry and seems a bit disconnected from the book's meaty content. I found this also was true in his narration of the accompanying BBC series. There's too much Fergal's personal Ireland for my taste.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Overview, 2 May 2011
This review is from: Story of Ireland: In Search of a New National Memory (Hardcover)
As a history student who has ploughed through many books on Irish history in the course of research, I would say this is a rare, perhaps unique, example of a text that gives you a comprehensive sense of the main currents of Irish history, while still being entertaining to read and easily digestible. Neil Hegarty's style is light and accomplished, making you feel that you are in the company of a writer who not only has the central developments of each major phase of this story at his fingertips, but who is also able to offer reliable, well considered, yet pithy, sometimes witty judgments on the significance of key events and historical actors. A central insight and achievement of this book is the way in which it reveals the simultaneous operation of several different processes and influences in the main phases of Irish history: the divisions within the island itself, and the impact of international forces and transformations. This history forges a new path in offering a way of approaching the 'Irish story' that is not dominated by the teleological account of the progress towards national independence in the Republic, proving at the same time that the complexities of Irish history need not be confined to the intricacies (or the partisanship) of scholarly debate, but can be a fun adventure for the ordinary reader. An ideal introduction to Ireland's past for anyone who has little knowledge of it, and a pleasurable new illumination of familiar territory for those who have some.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent overview of Irish history, 8 May 2011
By 
Ann Russell Weakley (Dublin, Dublin Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Story of Ireland: In Search of a New National Memory (Hardcover)
This book is indeed "The Story of Ireland". Hegarty tells the story in a fluid and accessible way and with wry humour. His command of the material is obvious but he doesn't feel the need to show off his expertise, rather he invites us to share his enjoyment as he takes us through the journey from the 5th century to the present day. This is an excellent overview of Irish history. For anyone new to the subject it is an ideal introduction and to those with some knowledge it will bring some new insights.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for general knowledge., 27 July 2012
This review is from: Story of Ireland: In Search of a New National Memory (Hardcover)
Having seen the associated TV series fronted by Feargal Keane, which did a sterling job of reviewing (and in some cases re-evaluating) strands in Irish history, I was interested in getting this book; in the main, it works very well - the style is very digestible without skimping on essential details, although I, like another reviewer, felt that the 20th century was not dealt with in the same detail as previous periods. Tim Pat Coogan's book, "Ireland in the 20th Century", has in this respect a more focussed aspect, although clearly written with a nationalist sympathy/angle.

This caveat apart, the book to my mind serves as an essential and up to date primer for those needing an overview of Irish history - it presents a balanced argument about the plusses and minuses of the various connections with Britain, but does not shirk from criticism where this is warranted. It serves well as a guide for both Irish and British readers and would help to offset that old cliché, "The Irish never forget their history, the British never remember theirs"...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good one volume history of Ireland, 21 April 2012
By 
markr - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Story of Ireland: In Search of a New National Memory (Hardcover)
Neil Hegarty takes us through the key events in the development of Ireland, both North and South of the border, from its geological formation to the present. Given that this is achieved in just 326 pages the content is a little light in places. For example although written in 2011, the events of the last 50 years or so are covered in just 20 pages, and those who want to learn more of the political and social changes which have taken place, as well as the rise and fall of the Celtic Tiger economy will need to supplement their reading elsewhere.

Nonetheless, this is a highly readable and informative history, which explains the key events in what feels to be an even handed and unbiased manner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative, 2 Sep 2011
This review is from: Story of Ireland: In Search of a New National Memory (Hardcover)
I realised from the TV series how ignorant I was of Irish history so decided to buy a book and this had high ratings on Amazon. The book has certainly taught me a great deal and appears to be even-handed. However, I found the early chapters a little turgid and, as a whole, I feel the book lacks insight and analysis. After the expectation, it was a disappointment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but.., 5 Aug 2011
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This review is from: Story of Ireland: In Search of a New National Memory (Hardcover)
Coming from Mayo people who came to Scotland in the 1920's, I really enjoyed the book. The earlier histories are well documented and very interesting to read but the book really disappoints in the 20th Century material: particularly in the sorely abject lack of any much criticism of Eamon De Valera (avoiding the London treaty talks and sending Collins to be the 'fall guy', his proactive political role in the Civil War that followed, the political 'balance' of neutrality during WWII and the acceptance and encouragement of Irish emigration throughout much of the 20th Century). Authors such as Tim Pat Coogan provide a powerful counterpoint critique of de Valera's Ireland and while I didn't expect these views to be endorsed by this author, this section falls well short of any hard analysis of one of Ireland's major figureheads during the 20th Century.

A very interesting and enjoyable read, perfect for a skim of the times but falls short in modern age.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fresh take on Irish history, 9 May 2011
This review is from: Story of Ireland: In Search of a New National Memory (Hardcover)
In the Story of Ireland Neil Hegarty achieves that rare balance of a highly engaging read and well researched rich, historical content. The book takes us through seminal points in Irish history through a fresh and well informed narrative, written with both humour and depth - the result an accessible book that I couldn't put down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book, 29 April 2011
By 
S. faloon "loveagoodread" (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Story of Ireland: In Search of a New National Memory (Hardcover)
''I found this book immensely enjoyable. Being an Irishman living in England I sometimes forget about where my roots are to the point of forgetting my history. This book provided a much needed injection of what it means to be Irish. It is such an easy read and it's hard to believe Hegarty is able to cover so much in 300 pages. Moreover Hegarty's writing is accessible and at times very humorous - very unlike the TV show that bears the same name! I would heartily recommend this book to any Irishman at home or abroad, Plastic Paddy real or wannabe."
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5.0 out of 5 stars True history, 1 April 2014
By 
A. Gunn "Awgie" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Story of Ireland (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed the TV series that accompanied this and the book is even better than I anticipated. Well written and easily digestible, this is history at it's best - factual & impartial.
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Story of Ireland: In Search of a New National Memory
Story of Ireland: In Search of a New National Memory by Neil Hegarty (Hardcover - 28 April 2011)
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