Irish Social History Since 1740

Learn about Irish social history from geography to the people and culture

The Cambridge social history of modern Ireland

ed. by Eugenio F. Biagini and Mary E. Daly Cambridge, 2017

635p bibl index, 9781107095588 $99.99, 9781107479401 $31.99, 9781108229555 $26.00

The 33 essays in this book offer a panoramic view of Irish social history since 1740. The book is divided into three parts—”Geography, Occupations and Social Classes”; “People, Culture and Communities”; and “Emigration, Immigration and the Wider Irish World”—and in concise chapters ( most around 15 pages), the contributors provide substantive and thought-provoking coverage of a remarkable range of subjects, including demography, class, urban and rural life, gender, housing, food, welfare, language, literacy, and education, among many others, supported by numerous figures, maps, and tables. It is striking how often the words “exceptional” or “remarkable” are used in relation to various aspects of Irish society—such as the level of migration, reliance on the potato as staple crop, limited provision for poor relief, shift from the Irish to the English language, and then the effort to preserve Irish—yet Ireland is also viewed in the broad contexts of the British Isles, Europe, and the world. Editors Biagini and Daly have achieved their goal of providing a synthesis of the best recent scholarship in Irish social history, making this excellent book an indispensable resource for teachers, students, and researchers.

Summing Up: Essential. All academic levels/libraries.
Reviewer: A. H. Plunkett, Piedmont Virginia Community College
Subject: Social & Behavioral Sciences – History, Geography & Area Studies – Western Europe
Choice Issue: Mar 2018