Ambiguous Republic: Ireland in the 1970s, by Diarmaid Ferriter
Ambiguous Republic: Ireland in the 1970s
Diarmaid Ferriter’s history of the decade, which is painstaking in its use of primary sources and filled with nuanced consideration of detail, offers a picture of a society slowly changing, with leaders who were, while uninspired and oddly flawed, also well meaning and serious minded, and civil servants who were dutiful and hard working. He is careful also to look at other material as the margins in Ireland became more influential. He is scrupulous in how he assembles his narrative, using internal reports, debates as they unfolded and sources such as Hibernia and Magill magazines. He depends on contemporary documentary evidence and in doing so offers a masterclass in historical writing. The importance of Ferriter’s book is not merely in its methodology. For the bringing to light of our early fraught, ambiguous and uneasy relationship to our masters in Europe, and for offering a context for many other matters of public interest, it provides us with much to ponder. This is an invaluable, fascinating book.
Ambiguous Republic: Ireland in the 1970s, Diarmaid Ferriter, Profile, £15