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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 12 November 2008
Bardon's History of Ireland covers the ground in a different way than any other book addressing the same subject. It is based on episodes (250 of them) and uses material gleaned from painstaking and detailed research, much of it from very local sources. It is highly granular in its approach and the flow of "quotations" provides an understanding and flavor of the people and events of the time. This work struck me as moving from two dimensional history to the perspective given by three dimensions. The characters jump off the page.
The structure of the book - 250 chapters - comes from the fact that it was originally conceived as as BBC Radio series broadcasted daily for a full year. As a result each chapter is standalone which has the benefit that one can pick up this book and read any chapter (less than a 1000 words) in 10 to 15 minutes without having to have read what went before. It is a great book for dipping into.
This is a serious history book and sets a new standard in the way history should be written with its ease of accessibility. This is both a reference book and a bedside table companion. This is factual storytelling at its best.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2011
This is a fantastic book, it should be required reading for everyone with any interest in Ireland. It's written in small sections that you can dip into, but not in the slightest dumbed down history, or a just repetition of what you've heard before. I'm learning a lot from it and it's leading me on to want to read in more depth about areas I am unfamiliar with, and I've got a PhD in Irish history. But equally every school child in Ireland could learn a lot from it too, it's very readable. I'm sorry I didn't hear the radio broadcasts it is based on.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 3 March 2011
This is an excellent book that makes a very political history seem both interesting and personal. The episodes are written in language that transports you to the event. The quality was excellent and well worth the price!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2011
i got this as a present for my mum, and she is really enjoying reading it, it is broken up into 250 small chapters. and is very easy to read, either from cover to cover or just to dip in and out of, as and when your looking for information about a certain historic event
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 21 July 2009
This is the first history book I have ever read cover to cover. It makes history accessible to anyone. It is small chunks, so you can read a bit at a time, it has opened up a knowledge of Irish history for me. Although I lived through the time of the Irish troubles during the 1960's and onward, the news at the time never explained why. Now I feel I have a better understanding of the current attitudes in Northen Ireland, and an understanding of why my great grandmother left in 1854.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 5 December 2009
This book is a must have for anyone with an interest in Irish history. It's easy going style, just 2 or 3 pages per chapter means you can read it from cover to cover or just dip in where ever you fancy (I did both). Bardon certainly knows his subject well and writes in a style that will appeal to all ages. I thoroughly reccommend this book.A History of Ireland in 250 Episodes
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 2014
Jonathan Bardon displays a real grasp of his material; plus a writing style which is clear and concise, with exactly the right amount of detail. The decision to preserve the 250 radio episode format was a wise one. The individual episodes stand up well as short essays, so you can open the book at random and be sure to find a worthwhile ten-minute read. But if you read them in sequence they make a first class continuous narrative history.

Publishers' blurbs often claim that books will suit both the student and the general reader. Well, this is one of the few cases in which that claim is fully justified. Bardon's work is factually sound (so far as I can judge), beautifully written, and positively enjoyable to read. Thank you, Jonathan !
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 6 September 2012
It must be borne in mind that these "episodes" were originally written for broadcast.
The episodes are short and self-contained and allow "dipping" into events as you please.
The style makes it easy reading.
I did however feel some annoyance at some sloppy editing and proof reading - numerous typos
and at least one shocking contradiction...e.g. from the end of one episode to the start of the next:

Episode 111 The Battle of the Boyne (Hardly an insignificant episode in this history!) the last paragraph begins "The Battle of the Boyne was not a rout; the Irish and French retired in good order...."

Episode 112: (Begins) "Following his rout at the Boyne on 1 July 1690, King James II dashed straight for Dublin..." so I have to ask was this a rout or not a rout!! Bardon then quotes James II describing a rout!! "the Irish 'basely fled the field and left the spoil to the enemies..' "

Does this call in to question the reliability of the rest of the volume? You decide. You pay your money and you take your chance....!!
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on 13 February 2015
good brief encounter of the history of Ireland, without trying to remember all those names. I think you need to know what the history was in Britten at the same time, this gives you who was who at the time history was in the making. Read then, of all the famine that was in the (History of Ireland )
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on 19 September 2014
All the people that support the notion that Ulster is a "Legal Country" should be made to read this Book. Talk about double standards, broken promises, extreme bias towards the Protestants and examples of judicial murder carried out at the behest of British Governments.
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