Faber & Faber - Maurice Walsh on Bitter Freedom and the Irish Revolution
Maurice Walsh on Bitter Freedom and the Irish Revolution
Here writer and documentary maker Maurice Walsh discusses his book Bitter Freedom, a new history of the Irish Revolution, placing Ireland in the global disorder born of the terrible slaughter of total war, as well as a kaleidoscopic portrait of the human face of the conflict.
The Irish Revolution - the war between the British authorities and the newly-formed IRA - was the first successful revolt anywhere against the British Empire. But it was not alone. Nationalist movements across the world were fired by the American promise of self-determination.
For too long, the story of Irish independence and its aftermath has been told within an Anglo-Irish context. Now, in a vividly written and compelling narrative, Maurice Walsh shows that Ireland was part of a civilisation in turmoil. A national revolution which captured worldwide attention from India to Argentina was itself profoundly shaped by international events, political, economic and cultural. In the era of Bolshevism and jazz, developments in Europe and America had a profound effect on Ireland, influencing the attitudes and expectations of combatants and civilians.
The hopes, dreams and bitter disappointments of the revolutionary years affected everyone in Ireland whether they fought or not. Walsh also brings to life the experiences of Irish people removed from the fighting - the plays they went to, the exciting films they watched in the new cinemas and the books they read. But the price of freedom was partition, a devastating civil war and the daunting challenge of establishing a new nation in an uncertain world...
Maurice Walsh is the author of the groundbreaking The News from Ireland: Foreign Correspondents and the Irish Revolution which was described by Colm Toibin as 'an invaluable book'. An award-winning documentary maker, he has reported from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the United States and Europe. His essays, reviews and reportage have appeared in Granta, the London Review of Books, the Dublin Review, the New Statesman, and other newspapers in the UK, Ireland and the US.