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VINE VOICEon 27 January 2012
Excellent, well-written book. McGarry makes telling use of evidence of participants collected in the 1950s by the Irish government's Bureau of Military History, but he is truly impressive in the way he integrates this in an overall analysis of the place of the Rising in Irish history,

A small criticism could be that maps might be better, but no mind. This is a balanced and informed account dealing with such issues as the motives of the rebels (did they believe they had any chance of success or were they interested in blood sacrifice?); the way the Great War transformed Irish politics; the relationship between socialists like James Connolly and 'conservative' separatists; the centrality of Catholicism in the discourse of the day; and the place of the Rising, along with subsequent British decisions especially over conscription, in shifting the political balance towards the emergent Sinn Fein and how that in turn encouraged the intransigence of the Unionists in the north.

Should be read alongside 'A City in Wartime - Dublin 1914-18' by Padraig Yeates, which is particularly strong on the labour movement and Dublin's working class during an era of great instability and change.
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on 22 June 2013
Unless you're committed to a particular ideological reading of the Easter Rising of 1916, you should find McGarry's book interesting. I would recommend it, along with Charles Townshend's "Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion," which came out three or four years earlier and makes less use than McGarry does of the recently released participant and eyewitness accounts that were collected by the Irish government in the late 1940's and 1950's but kept from public view until quite recently. Both books contextualize the Rising sufficiently and give clear and quite detailed narratives of the main events and personalities. Neither writer (both are professional historians) has an axe to grind beyond the expected one -- "demythologizing" the Rising and returning its study to where it properly belongs: to the discipline of history. One can always wish that the contexts were even more detailed, but if you start in that direction, where do you stop? I would recommend R. F. Foster's "Modern Ireland" for the broader context, but both McGarry's and Townshend's books stand on their own perfectly adequately without it. So I thoroughly recommend this -- although I don't mean that it's necessarily the last word on the subject. I notice that McGarry has published another book since: "Rebels: Voices from the Easter Rising." I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but it sounds interesting.
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on 19 March 2016
This is an excellent work, the definitive history, plenty of eye witness testimony, many original sources, a great piece of research. What a shame then that Amazon Kindle spoil the book by not including the pictures, photos and plates. Kindle version is more expensive, less the post and packaging, but 20 pages of plates are missing. Amazon Kindle should be ashamed of themselves. Either state that the Kindle has no plates before a buyer wastes their money or reduce the price considerably. The book is otherwise excellent, a paperback would have gotten five stars but a spoiled Kindle version is only worth three. Kindle Amazon if you want readers to switch to electronic books over the real thing, do something about this. You are spoiling the enjoyment of the reader.
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on 5 March 2016
This is an excellent book written around the experiences of ordinary people in the run up to and during the Easter Rising. Many references using details from the Bureau of Military History it gives you an insight into what motivated the man in the street to take up arms in the struggle for Irish freedom. It documents the period from the end of Parnell fousing on the Gaelic Revival and rise of SinnFein right through to Home Rule and the impact of WW1 on the political landscape of Ireland. Well written and researched! It is very relevant in the year that celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising.
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on 26 April 2011
Although I have just started to read this book I am very impressed with it and if it is read in conjunction with other subject matter it gives a wider view of the 1916 Uprising. It covers all the aspects and I think from the Irish view whilst giving a smattering of the British view.
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on 13 January 2016
A sympathetic read. Enjoyed learning about the Irish history and what the Irish people had to tolerate with the British Government in control.
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on 17 April 2016
An interesting & historical paperback book.its a weighty novel but easy to read including pictures inside.
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on 11 May 2016
Well done
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on 21 March 2014
well worth the money, i'd recommend this to anyone who is looking for a good general overview of the rising
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