Category Archives: Books

The sins of memories past?

 

 

 

There is an interesting piece from the Dublin Review of Books entitled: Troubles with Remembering; or, The Seven Sins of Memory Studies.  The piece is actually a review on: Remembering the Troubles: Contesting the Recent Past in Northern Ireland, by Jim Smyth (ed), University of Notre Dame Press, 218 pp, $40, ISBN 978-0268-101749.

The past of course is entirely memory, albeit in the context of events that are fact. The review quickly becomes a wider exploration of the nature of memory, and in particular “Memory Studies”, and more particularly the seven deadly sins thereof: laxity, dualism, crudity, moralism, insularity, myopia, and overlooking forgetting.

The Northern Ireland Question

 

 

 

 

 

The reminder that sometimes there is a need to repeat well considered nationalist shibboleths and certainties was again brought to attention with the recent post on Joint Authority – resurrecting a pamphlet that hasn’t aged since first appearing in 1994.

With that in mind, this post covers a series of four books published 1991-2000, edited jointly by Patrick Roche and Brian Barton.

A United Ireland: why unification is inevitable…. Likely not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin Meagher, A United Ireland: why unification is inevitable and how it will come about  (Biteback, London, 2016)

Book Review

The only thing ‘inevitable’ about this book is its failure to persuade.

That said, Kevin Meagher has produced a thought provoking, well written, but ultimately flawed book.

The failure of A United Ireland to persuade stems from a selective use of evidence and an overreliance on implicit assumptions and counterfactuals (which often don’t hold up to even the most cursory scrutiny).

Contested Identities

Contested Identities

The Contested Identities of Ulster Protestants:
edited by Thomas Paul Burgess & Gareth Mulvenna.

The book is prefaced as a response to co-editor Thomas Burgess’s uncomfortable encounter where:

“… a young woman with impeccable Irish Republican credentials spoke up forcefully, and advanced her sure and certain hypothesis that there did not exist – neither could there ever exist – any legitimate or worthwhile expression of a valid or meaningful cultural contribution emerging from the Ulster unionist or loyalist tradition.”

We’ve all been there.