If the 1790s can be seen as the pivotal decade in the evolution of modern Ireland, then an understanding of it is not just of scholarly interest, but has repercussions for current political and cultural debates. Precisely because of that enduring relevance, the 1790s have never passed out of politics into history. These essays look again at the window of opportunity whichIf the 1790s can be seen as the pivotal decade in the evolution of modern Ireland, then an understanding of it is not just of scholarly interest, but has repercussions for current political and cultural debates. Precisely because of that enduring relevance, the 1790s have never passed out of politics into history. These essays look again at the window of opportunity which opened towards a non-sectarian, democratic and inclusive politics, adequately representing the Irish people in all their inherited complexities. These four new essays by this gifted and authoritative writer explain why that project was defeated and remains uncompleted. Understanding the reasons for its momentous defeat in the 1790s can help in ensuring that history does not repeat itself in the 1990s. Relieved of the disabling weight of confused meanings, the 1790s cease to be divisive. As the bicentenary of 1798 approaches the creation of an hospitable approach to all that it symbolizes becomes both desirable and necessary....
|Title||:||Tree of Liberty: Radicalism, Catholicism, and the Construction of Irish Identity, 1760-1830|
|Number of Pages||:||248 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Tree of Liberty: Radicalism, Catholicism, and the Construction of Irish Identity, 1760-1830 Reviews
I had read this book a first time more than ten years ago and re-reading it recently, I re-discovered how these four thought-provoking essays were a challenge, sometimes a little bit irksome, sometimes even a little bit too direct, by Kevin Whelan to reconsider the historiography of the 1790s and to step out of our preconceptions in order to look at this crucial time for was it really was. In examining the place of Catholics and Catholicism in Ireland, and especially the "underground gentry" (which I had used in my memoir for my maîtrise) before and after the Rebellion, the United Irishmen politics and broad appeal to a Irish "nation" regardless of religious creed, in the conflict between the conservative United Irishmen and the radical ones as well as the historiography after '98, Whelan tackles down many of the bogus myths that were constructed after the Rebellion and which have obscured our understanding of what it meant exactly to rebel against the government, to rise up to defend -- to defend what? Well, in examining this issue, Whelan reminds us of how the post-'98 period was marked by Daniel O'Connell and how the "Liberator" has played the card of sectarianism and the past to define the Irish nation as catholic while the UI were non-sectarian and turned towards the future. If, sometimes, these essays are a little bit too demonstrative or provocative in the sense that one feels the need to read more carefully-built arguments to support some of the ideas, as, for instance, in the last one when Whelan argues that the propaganda orchestrated by the government about the sectarian nature of the rising in the south was responsible for the defection and turn-over of the Presbyterians to the forces of conservatism and counter-revolution in the north, none the less, they are really, really useful and indispensable to come out of our comfort (and, we discover, conservative-built) zone.
The real question is, Is he REALLY a Post-revisionist?! Judging from his own criteria he sets forth in the introduction, I'd say not!