Diarmaid Ferriter Between Two Hells: The Irish Civil War


Code 9781788161749
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At the end of the Irish War of Independence, Dublin signed an unsatisfactory treaty with London, that amongst other things, required oaths of allegiance to the British Empire. To many this was a price worth paying, but for others it was impossible.

Very quickly, in 1922 the country collapsed into a cruel civil war that split organisations like Sinn Fein and the IRA, local communities, and families. It was less devastating than some other European civil wars but it left a ghastly number of dead, injured and immiserated across Ireland, north and south. And it cast a long shadow across Ireland.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, the two parties that grew out of the rival factions, have ruled Ireland since the end of the civil war. It was only in 2019 - almost a century after the conflict - because of Sinn Fein's electoral success that the two parties could see their way to officially working together. Drawing on completely new sources, Ireland's most brilliant historian shows how important this tragic war was for understanding Ireland now.

About the Author

Diarmaid Ferriter is Professor of Modern Irish History at University College Dublin. His previous books include The Transformation of Ireland 1900-2000 (2004), Occasions of Sin (2009), Ambiguous Republic (2012), A Nation and not a Rabble (2015), On The Edge (2018) and the international bestseller The Border (2019), all published by Profile Books. He is a regular broadcaster on radio and television and a columnist for the Irish Times. He was elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2019.

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'Very illuminating detail...simply setting violent events in context is a step forward. Thoughtful, balanced, even handed'
- Irish Times

'Ferriter's book is of such comprehensive and original scope...immensely readable and impressive'
- Sunday Business Post

'...The mighty mind this book comes from... rightly renowned for his voracious learning'
- Sunday Times

'Tugs at the tapestry of myths surrounding the independence struggle and the civil war that followed...A tremendous feat of documentation'
- The Independent


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