This site includes the postings from the Irish Aires email list. This includes a listing of Irish/Celtic events in the Houston area and other information that the Irish Aires radio program posts.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

[Irish Aires] - Read Ireland

Read Ireland Book News – Irish Books Gift Ideas for Christmas 2004 -------------------------------------- The Thin Green Line: The History of the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC by Richard Doherty Hardback; 38.00 Euro / 47.50 USD / 25.00 UK; 310 pages, with photo insert Formed out of the Royal Irish Constabulary at the time of Partition, the RUC's history is predictably a turbulent one right through to its replacement in 2001 by the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Few police forces in the world have suffered so grievously as the RUC and this book is a fitting memorial to the sacrifices made in the interests of the civil population it was determined to protect. Throughout its history, it has not only had to perform normal police duties but contain the ever present IRA threat. In 1969, the climate changed and ushered in a new and even more violent era of sectarian strife. The emergence of extreme nationalist organisations posed grave problems and, with the RUC in a prime role, the position of the Chief Constable was hugely important. This book tells the story of a remarkable police force without fear or favour. Ironically its reward for containing a hugely challenging internal security situation and at the same time policing the community traditionally was its disbandment. ---------------------------------- The Irish Times Book of the Year 2004 edited by Peter Murnagh Hardback; 28.50 Euro / 34.00 USD / 20.00 UK; 256 pages The Irish Times Book of the Year 2004 will be the fifth edition of this successful Christmas gift book. All the best stories from the period September 2003 - September 2004 are presented in book form and accompanied by stunning colour photography. Drawing on the unrivalled resources of The Irish Times, it features the very finest writing from Ireland's finest newspaper. It was a year in which it was goodbye Peter Mandelson, John Bruton and Ned O'Keeffe and hello George W. Bush (with some help from family and friends), BBBB and CCCC. Liam Lawlor went to jail. Read Tom Humphries, Medb Ruane and Conor O'Clery and the other outstanding writers from the Irish Times as they pull together the year that is passing. The Irish Times Book of the Year is the perfect Christmas gift book for all those who wish to recall the highlights of the past twelve months as recorded in Ireland's leading quality newspaper. ------------------------------------ Anything Can Happen by Seamus Heaney Paperback; 13.00 Euro / 16.00 USD / 9.00 UK A unique book published in associatin with Art for Amnesty. Anything Can Happen begins with an essay by Seamus Heaney written after September 11th, which was updated when the war in Iraq began and revised again for this edition. One of the main features of the book is 'Horace and the Thunder' a poem by Heaney, inspired by Horace, writing 200 hundred years ago in Rome. Heaney's work shown how relevant Horace's vision remains and encourages the reader to realise this poem could have been written in modern day Beghdad. The feature which makes Anything Can Happen unique, is that with help of Marco Songanitzi of UCD, the book contains numerous translations of Heaney's poem, making the book accessible and poignant as warring nations are able to sit side by side in peace. ----------------------------------- The Hook Peninsula: Rural Landscapes by Billy Colfer Large Hardback; 40.00 Euro / 48.00 USD / 30.00 UK; 242 pages, full colour illustrations throughout Located in County Wexford, the Hook Peninsula was the first to be conquered by the Anglo-Normans and its landscape was shaped by the establishment of two Cistercian abbeys (Tintern and Dunbrody) in the Middle Ages. The location of the peninsula beside a major estuary and busy shipping lanes was of vital importance. The Hook figured prominently in the Confederate Wars in the seventeenth century and in the 1798 rebellion. Today the peninsula attracts holiday makers and the insatiable demand for holiday homes presents a challenge for admirers of this marvelous but vulnerable landscape. ----------------------------------- Gaelic Ireland: c. 1250-c.1650: Land, Lordship and Settlement edited by Patrick J. Duffy, David Edwards and Elizabeth FitzPatrick Trade Paperback; 30.00 Euro / 35.00 USD / 24.00 UK; 450 pages. With illustrations and maps. This book recovers many aspects of a forgotten Gaelic world. Using a wide variety of sources – historical documents and bardic poetry, maps, place-names and the archaeological landscape – eighteen authors reveal the later medieval period to have been a time of profound and complex regional change. In Part I the survival and reconfiguration of Gaelic government and political structures are investigated in the Mac Giollapadraig lordship of Ossory and the trans-insular Mac Domnaill lordship of Antrim and the Isles. Social organization is highlighted through studies of landholding in MacMahon’s county of Arighialla and the custom of fostering and gossiprid as practiced by Gaelic aristocracy in the late sixteenth century. Part II provides insights into both the natural and cultural landscapes of Gaelic territories. The representation of the built environment on maps of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and the nature and extent of woodland cover are reviewed. Scientific analysis of pollen profiles provides a rare insight into woodland and agriculture in medieval landscapes of the north of Ireland. Part III deals with the archaeology of lordship, an exciting new area of research. The strongholds and residencies of Gaelic aristocracy, ranging from crannogs and moated sites to natural island fortresses and tower houses, are examined for parts of Ulster, Munster and Connacht, and a more humble Gaelic vernacular dwelling is revealed in an Ulster Plantation context. ----------------------------------- All Hell Will Break Loose by Austin Currie Hardback; 30.00 Euro / 36.00 USD / 24.00 UK; 458 pages Austin Currie was born in Coalisland, County Tyrone, in 1939, the eldest in a family of eleven children. The Northern Ireland in which he grew up was a place of segregation and distrust; where Protestants and Catholics were very aware of the divides that separated their communities; where the simmering tensions eventually erupted into terrible violence and huge loss of life. Politics was a natural draw to a young boy who had witnessed his parents’ humiliation at the hands of a Protestant landlord who denied them a house because of their religion. At the age of 8 he led a small process of boys to an anti-Partition meeting and made a stirring speech about the Border. As a student of History and Politics at Queen’s University, Belfast he co-founded the New Ireland Society and got his first taste of the potential of politics for positive change. The 1960s and 1970s saw him engage in direct-action tactics as a leader of peaceful protests and civil rights marches. His first brush with the law came as a result of the Caledon affair, when he occupied a house to highlight the sectarian bias in public housing allocations. He witnessed first-hand the attempts of Ian Paisely and his supporters to intimidate and suppress free expression through counter-demonstrations and threats of violence. Later, as a founder member of the SDLP, he was involved in political negotiations at the highest levels, most notably during the Sunningdale period. In this book the author pieces together the complex and dramatic machinations that brought Northern Ireland to its current political incarnation, giving a behind-the scenes account of the people and the events that changed history. Alongside this tale of politics and politicians is the story of the private man, and the violence visited upon his own family because of his commitment to non-violent politics. ----------------------------------- Nell by Nell McCafferty Hardback; 25.00 Euro / 30.00 USD / 18.00 UK; 434 pages For over three decades Nell McCafferty has been Ireland's most provocative and interesting activist and commentator. As a member of that brilliant 1960s generation of working-class idealists politicized by class, war and sex. McCafferty, in her writing and broadcasting on everything from the hunger strikes to football, has inspired and infuriated in equal measure. Yet, although she is an iconic figure, ‘Nell' (there is only one) her sexuality has remained in the background, hardly acknowledged and never, it seemed, to be discussed. Until now, in a memoir of scorching honesty McCafferty writes about what it is to be the public, and the private, Nell. Nell McCafferty was born on Derry's Bogside in 1944. She was the first of her family to go to university and after graduating she began a career in journalism that made her one of Ireland's most controversial commentators. She lives in Dublin. --------------------------------- The Road from Ardoyne: The Making of a President: Mry McAleese by Ray Mac Manais Hardback; 30.00 Euro / 35.00 USD / 24.00 UK; 400 pages Born the eldest of nine children in 1951 in Belfast, Mary McAleese witnessed as a teenager the anti-Catholic pogroms on 1969 that saw streets around her burned out by loyalist mobs. Her father packed his family into the car and set off for the safety of Dublin; they returned to Belfast, but were forced to flee again from their home in Ardoyne, after it came under repeated attack. This book traces the life of Mary McAleese from her girlhood in Ardoyne to the threshold of the presidency. Her story is a chronicle of triumphs and tragedies, of self-belief and tenacity. It is both an adventure story and a love story; it is also a tale of grit and determination on the part of the man who would become her husband. In writing this book the author has had the cooperation of Mary McAleese and members of her family, and has had access to many of her personal papers. Mary McAleese, Ireland's President, has a long standing interest in many issues concerned with justice, equality, social inclusion, anti-sectarianism and reconciliation. She was a member of the Catholic Church Episcopal Delegation to the New Ireland Forum in 1984, and she was a founder member of the Irish Commission for the Prisoners Overseas. On 11 November 1997 she became the first President to come from Northern Ireland and has enjoyed a remarkably high approval rating in opinion polls. --------------------------------- The Transformation of Ireland 1900-2000 by Diarmaid Ferriter Hardback; 40.0 Euro / 48.00 USD / 30.00 UK; 890 pages In 1900 Ireland was a restless, impoverished, neglected corner of the British Empire. By 2000 it had become the ‘Celtic Tiger’ of Europe. How did this happen? This landmark book by one of Ireland’s most exciting young historians sets out to answer the question – what was it life to grow p and live in 20th century Ireland? – and is the first comprehensive social, political, cultural, intellectual and economic survey of that Irish century. In this book the author draws together the many threads that make up the complex story – from the drama of its politics to the ‘hidden pasts’ drawn from memoirs and previously unused sources. The book is also a history of a society, both North and South. In dealing with the bitter struggles in the North, it focuses on the social and cultural aspects, not just the obvious political and religious divisions. It also considers women in a way no previous account of modern Ireland has. From religion to literature, from family to football, this book is a seminal work. ------------------------------------ Dublin’s Lost Heroines: Mammies and Grannies in a Vanished City by Kevin C. Kearns Hardback; 30.00 Euro / 36.00 USD / 21.00 UK; 330 pages This book is a masterly chronicle of the forgotten, ‘voiceless’ women in Dublin’s impoverished old communities. It is based upon thirty years of research trips to Dublin where the author gathered original oral testimony about the daily lives of mothers who struggled to survive in difficult, often dreadful, circumstances. What emerges is an intimate and poignant account and celebration of the mammies and grannies who held the fabric of family life together in an environment of hardship, and often cruelty. This work covers the squalid tenement days of the early 1900s, through the mid-century decades of ‘slumland’ block flats, into the 1970s when deadly drugs infiltrated poor neighborhoods, terrified mothers and stole their children away from them. Telling vividly of how they coped with grinding poverty, huge families, pitiless landlords, the oppressive Church, dictatorial priests, feckless and often abusive husbands, the voices of the mammies and grannies from the Dublin slums course through this remarkable book. Yet, throughout their heroic struggle, they maintained an astonishing dignity, early wit, pride and resilient spirit. ---------------------------------- U2 Show by Diana Scrimgeour Hardback; 40.00 Euro / 48.00 USD / 30.00 UK; 300 pages, full colour photos throughout Everything about the band U2 is huge. From their music, to their tours, to their influence on global popular culture and politics. In the US they are cultural icons as well as multimillion album selling pop stars. Underpinning their popularity is their passion for touring. For the last 20 years they have hardly been off the road. It is the thing they love to do most. And it is touring which drives their creativity and reflects the direction of the band. From the modest Tick Tock Tour of 1980, through the Joshua Tree, and on to the videomedia extravaganza of ZooTV in the early 90s and Popmart in the late 90s then the more intimate Elevation tour of the last two years, it is the tours which have set their agenda. For the first time the band has agreed to allow a book on this vital part of their creative energy. The photographs are hand picked from their archive put together over 25 years. There will be a commentary by Diana Scrimgeour, who has been a photographer on recent tours, and first-person accounts from the close associates of the band. U2 Show will be the music publishing event of 2004. ----------------------------------- Irish Birds by David Cabot Hardback; 20.00 Euro / 24.00 USD / 15.00 UK; 240 pages, full colour throughout This book describes and illustrates 167 of the most frequently occurring birds in Ireland. The species have been carefully selected to include those that the non-specialist birdwatcher is most likely to see. For easy use, birds are grouped together according to where they are most likely to be seen: in gardens, parks and buildings; farmlands and hedgerows; woodland and scrubland; moorland and upland; freshwater and coastal areas. Each section starts with background information about these major habitats. There are also general pages for bird groups to help you distinguish between similar species. A ‘places to visit’ section details 74 of the best sites in Ireland for birdwatching, including when to visit, how to get there, and what you will see. This book is perfect for traveling around Ireland, is an ideal introduction to birdwatching, and makes the perfect gift for all nature lovers. -------------------------------- No Ordinary Women: Irish Female Activists in the Revolutionary Years 1900-1923 by Sinead McCoole Large Paperback; 20.00 Euro / 25.00 USD / 15.00 UK; 288 pages This book tells the story of the Irish revolutionary period 1900-1923, from the perspective of female activists. The focus of the book is on the period when vast numbers of Irish women were politicised and sent to jail for their beliefs, with a special emphasis on their imprisonment in the aftermath of the 1916 Rising, and during the War of Independence and the Civil War. The seventy-three biographies included provided information on what the lives of these courageous women were like before and after they took part in the pivotal historical events that helped shape the Ireland of today. The author, an historian and curator, uncovered in her research that the women who were politically active in this period were not confined to a particular social grouping, but represented a cross-section of Irish life. They were shop assistants, doctors, housewives, laundry workers, artists, teachers and even mere schoolchildren. They were married women, mothers, single and widowed women. A number were titled women. Some had not even been born in Ireland, and not all were Catholic: there were Protestants, Quakers, Jews and atheists. The vast majority became involved because of familial links to the nationalist movement, and their commitment to the cause and sacrifices they made were in no way inferior to the male members of their households. They were willing to give their lives for their ideal, and while imprisoned, endured the full rigours of hunger strike and separation from family and friends for their beliefs. This book reasserts their rightful place in Irish history. ----------------------------------- Four Quarters of Light by Brian Keenan Hardback; 25.00 Euro / 30.00 USD / 20.00 UK; 310 pages Brian Keenan's fascination with Alaska began as a small boy choosing his first library book in a Belfast school. The book was Jack London's wondrous Call of the Wild. And it has permeated Keenan's life ever since.A short visit to Fairbanks several years ago was enough to seal his connection with the place and he resolved to return. Last year he did so with a head full of questions about its inspiring landscape and a heart informed with his own love of the desolate and barren places of the world. In the course of a journey that takes him through four geographical quarters from snowmelt in May to snowfall in September, he discovers a land as fantastical as a fairytale but whose vastness has a very peculiar type of allure... -------------------------------- Luisitania: An Irish Tragedy by Senan Molony Hardback; 25.00 Euro / 30.00 USD / 20.00 UK; 190 pages with photos throughout An original and imaginative examination of the effect of the Lusitania sinking on Ireland, The book acknowledges for the first time: - the heroic rescue work undertaken by local fishermen and lifeboats, - those who tended to the dead and succoured the living, - those who served on a Coroner's jury, - those who worked as bodyhunters scouring the coast in response to posted rewards, and much more. It examines the ripples cast upon Irish shores by the vanishing of the vessel after it was hit by a German torpedo. In particular it tells the stories of numerous Irish passengers and crew who were aboard the doomed vessel. It also highlights the rich legacy of history that resides in the Lusitania graves in Ireland. -------------------------------------- CD-Roms: -------- A Stroll Through Dublin by Max Matthews CDROM; 20.00 Euro / 24.00 USD / 15.00 UK This publications brings the streets, buildings and people of Dublin City alive! The CD contains high quality photographs of over 2,000 buildings throughout the city, as well as 450 biographies of famous Dubliners, histories of over 300 streets, and general histories of the city, historic maps, and much more. ------------------------------ Scenic Ireland: A Visual Tour of the Emerald Isle CDROM; 25.00 Euro / 30.00 UK / 20.00 UK Ireland is renowned for its spectacular and diverse landscapes from the wide and rugged West Coast that has been hammered by the roaring Atlantic Ocean and powerful winds, to the serene midlands bejewelled by beautiful lakes, meandering rivers, exquisite mountain ranges and tranquil valleys. This CDROM is an guide to discover the delights of this spectacular Isle through 360 imaging and slide shows, including narration and original musical accompaniment. ----------------------------- Grenham’s Irish Surnames CDROM; 40.00 Euro / 47.00 USD / 32.00 UK Ireland was one of the first European countries to have adopted hereditary surnames. Nine centuries of change, along with our history of immigration, colonization and linguistic upheaval have produced an extraordinary legacy: Gaels, Vikings, Normans, Scots, Welsh, English, French Huguenots, German Palatines – all have added to the rich mix of what it means to be Irish! This CDROM provides an unparalleled resource for anyone interested in his or her Irish surname. It contains details of 26,756 Irish surnames and 104,058 surname variants, 8,207 surname dictionary entries; the distribution of 2,296 surnames in 1890 as recorded in birth records; details of the distribution of 377,902 households throughout Ireland 1847-64; Coats of arms for 130 of the most common Irish surnames; an extensive bibliography of Irish family history; Ireland-wide parish maps; and details of the records of 3,782 churches and congregations throughout Ireland, comprising 8.376 sets of records. ----------------------------------- Thank you for your support! It is important that if you are considering ordering any of these books that you do so through Read Ireland in order that the newsletter continues! To order books from the Read Ireland Book Review - simply return the Newsletter by clicking your reply button, deleting the books you do not want and leaving the books you want to order. Alternatively, you can send an email to the order department at: Please be sure to include your mailing address and credit card details. You can of course also post your order to: Read Ireland, 392 Clontarf Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3,Ireland. Telephone and Facsimile number is: +353-1-830-2997. Read Ireland Web Site Home Page: All Prices and Rates are in Euro (US Dollar and UK Sterling prices are guidelines based on current exchange rates.) Euro prices on books reviewed above are firm. Post + package is charged at cost.
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