Enrico Dal Lago, Lincoln, (Salerno Editrice, 2022)

One of only two biographies of Lincoln ever published by Italian authors, Enrico Dal Lago’s monograph recounts the life of the great U.S. President placing it firmly within its national and international context. Born and raised in a poor family of pioneers, Lincoln seemed to embody the very image of the self-made man in America, as he embarked in a variety of jobs until he became a renowned lawyer in Illinois. Lincoln’s political life went in parallel with the development of the young American nation at a time when the differences between the industrializing North and the slave South were becoming stronger and threatened to tear the nation apart. First as an antislavery Whig, and then as the main representative of the Republican Party, Lincoln was present at all the iconic moments of the great political struggle between the free North and the slave South, and he made a major contribution to them, until in 1860 he was elected President, and shortly afterwards he led the Union in the Civil War (1861-65) that opposed it to the Confederacy. Dal Lago recounts Lincoln’s political achievements and setbacks and analyses his decisive role in the Union’s victory, together with his crucial legislation on the emancipation of African American slaves by balancing the treatment of Lincoln’s public and private life. In the process, he provides a portrait of the President as a tormented man, who was forced to make very difficult choices affecting millions of people, and whose relatively short life was marred by loss and grief in his own family.


David Stefan Doddington and Enrico Dal Lago (eds) Writing the History of Slavery (Bloomsbury Press, 2022). 

Exploring the major historiographical, theoretical, and methodological approaches that have shaped studies on slavery, this addition to the Writing History series highlights the varied ways that historians have approached the fluid and complex systems of human bondage, domination, and exploitation that have developed in societies across the world. The first part examines more recent attempts to place slavery in a global context, touching on contexts such as religion, empire, and capitalism.

In its second part, the book looks closely at the key themes and methods that emerge as historians reckon with the dynamics of historical slavery. These range from politics, economics and quantitative analyses, to race and gender, to pyschohistory, history from below, and many more. Throughout, examples of slavery and its impact are considered across time and place: in Ancient Greece and Rome, Medieval Europe, colonial Asia, Africa, and the Americas, and trades throughout the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Also taken into account are thinkers from Antiquity to the 20th century and the impact their ideas have had on the subject and the debates that follow.

Bloomsbury Press

Rebecca Barr, Sarah-Anne Buckley and Muireann Ó Cinnéide (eds.), Literacy in Nineteenth Century Ireland (Liverpool University Press, 2019).

This volume of essays explores the multiple forms and functions of reading and writing in nineteenth-century Ireland. This century saw a dramatic transition in literacy levels and in the education and language practices of the Irish population, yet the processes and full significance of these transitions remains critically under explored. This book traces how understandings of literacy and language shaped national and transnational discourses of cultural identity, and the different reading communities produced by questions of language, religion, status, education and audience. Essays are gathered under four main areas of analysis: Literacy and Bilingualism; Periodicals and their readers; Translation, transmission and transnational literacies; Visual literacies. Through these sections, the authors offer a range of understandings of the ways in which Irish readers and writers interpreted and communicated their worlds. 

Róisín Healy, ed., Mobility in the Russian, Central and East European Past (Routledge, 2019).  

 The "new mobilities paradigm" which emerged at the beginning of the twenty-first century has identified mobility as a process intrinsic to the human experience and fundamental to the formation of social and political structures. This volume breaks new ground by demonstrating the role of the journey as a key motor of human development in Russia, central and east Europe in the modern period. It does so by means of twelve case studies that examine different types of movement, both voluntary and involuntary, temporary and permanent, short- and long-distance, into, out of, and around the region.


Enrico Dal Lago: Civil War and Agrarian Unrest, The Confederate South and Southern Italy (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Between 1861 and 1865, both the Confederate South and Southern Italy underwent dramatic processes of nation-building, with the creation of the Confederate States of America and the Kingdom of Italy, in the midst of civil wars. This is the first book that compares these parallel developments by focusing on the Unionist and pro-Bourbon political forces that opposed the two new nations in inner civil conflicts. Overlapping these conflicts were the social revolutions triggered by the rebellions of American slaves and Southern Italian peasants against the slaveholding and landowning elites. Utilizing a comparative perspective, Enrico Dal Lago sheds light on the reasons why these combined factors of internal opposition proved fatal for the Confederacy in the American Civil War, while the Italian Kingdom survived its own civil war. At the heart of this comparison is a desire to understand how and why nineteenth-century nations rose and either endured or disappeared.

Cambridge University Press

Enrico Dal Lago, Róisín Healy and Gearóid Barry (eds): 1916 in Global Context An Anti-Imperial Moment (Routledge, 2018).

The year 1916 has recently been identified as "a tipping point for the intensification of protests, riots, uprisings and even revolutions." Many of these constituted a challenge to the international pre-war order of empires, and thus collectively represent a global anti-imperial moment, which was the revolutionary counterpart to the later diplomatic attempt to construct a new world order in the so-called Wilsonian moment. Chief among such events was the Easter Rising in Ireland, an occurrence that took on worldwide significance as a challenge to the established order. This is the first collection of specialist studies that aims at interpreting the global significance of the year 1916 in the decline of empires.



Sarah-Anne Buckley, Ciara Boylan and Pat Dolan (eds.), Family Histories of the Irish Revolution, (Four Courts Press, 2017).

Some of the stories from current and retired staff at NUI Galway have been buried for generations, and their publication sheds new light on the complex politics of memory in post-independence Ireland. They tell of the famous – Peadar O’Donnell, Tom Kettle and the Sheehy-Skeffingtons – and the forgotten, including accounts of nationalists and unionists, British army soldiers and Irish Volunteers, members of Cumann na mBan and the RIC.

The contributions discuss how family history and memory was imparted and aim to explore the legacy of this on succeeding generations. An introduction from the editors, a foreword by President Michael D. Higgins on ethics and memory, and a background chapter from Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh weave together key themes, including gender, memory, violence, reconciliation and family history.

Four Courts Press

Alison Forrestal: Vincent de Paul, the Lazarist Mission, and French Catholic Reform (Oxford University Press, 2017).

Vincent de Paul, the Lazarist Mission, and French Catholic Reform offers a major reassessment of the thought and activities of the most famous figure of the seventeenth-century French Catholic Reformation, ‌Vincent de Paul. Confronting traditional explanations for de Paul's prominence in the dévot reform movement that emerged in the wake of the Wars of Religion, the volume explores how he turned a personal vocational desire to evangelize the rural poor of France into a congregation of secular missionaries, known as the Congregation of the Mission or the Lazarists, with three interrelated strands of pastoral responsibility: the completion of formal missions, the formation and training of clergy, and the promotion of confraternal welfare.‌

Alison Forrestal further demonstrates that the structure, ethos, and works that de Paul devised for the Congregation placed it at the heart of a significant enterprise of reform that involved a broad set of associates in efforts to transform the character of devotional belief and practice within the church. The central questions of the volume therefore concern de Paul's efforts to create, characterize, and articulate a distinctive and influential vision for missionary life and work, both for himself and for the Lazarist Congregation. Forrestal argues that his prominence and achievements depended on his remarkable ability to exploit the potential for association and collaboration within the dévot environment of seventeenth-century France in enterprising and systematic ways.

This is the first study to assess de Paul's activities against the wider backdrop of religious reform and Bourbon rule, and to reconstruct the combination of ideas, practices, resources, and relationships that determined his ability to pursue his ambitions. A work of forensic detail and complex narrative, Vincent de Paul, the Lazarist Mission, and French Catholic Reform is the product of years of research in ecclesiastical and state archives. It offers a wholly fresh perspective on the challenges and opportunities entailed in the promotion of religious reform and renewal in seventeenth-century France.

Oxford University Press 

Enrico Dal Lago and Kevin O’Sullivan (eds): ‌Transnational Humanitarian Action: Atlantic and Global Voluntary Activities from Abolitionism to the NGOs 1800-2000, Special Issue of Moving the Social: Journal of Social History and the History of Social Movements 57  (Journal, 2017)‌‌.

Moving the Social – Journal of Social History and the History of Social Movements is a multi-disciplinary, international and peer-reviewed journal. It focuses on transnational and comparative perspectives on the history of social movements set in a wider context of social history. It appears twice yearly. During the last evaluation of the ESF Standing Committee for the Humanities (2011), the Journal was ranked INT2 (international with significant visibility). Moving the Social publishes research at the cutting edge of social history, broadly defined. This involves in particular the analysis of the diversity of economic, social, political and mental structures of social movements, from historical and social science perspectives, and the introduction of new research that is relevant to the field of social movement studies.


Róisín Healy: Poland in the Irish Nationalist Imagination, 1772-1922: Anti-Colonialism Within Europe (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). 

This book explores the assertions made by Irish nationalists of a parallel between Ireland under British rule and Poland under Russian, Prussian and Austrian rule in the long nineteenth century. Poland loomed large in the Irish nationalist imagination, despite the low level of direct contact between Ireland and Poland up to the twenty-first century. Irish men and women took a keen interest in Poland and many believed that its experience mirrored that of Ireland. ‌‌This view rested primarily on a historical coincidence—the loss of sovereignty suffered by Poland in the final partition of 1795 and by Ireland in the Act of Union of 1801, following unsuccessful rebellions. It also drew on a common commitment to Catholicism and a shared experience of religious persecution. This study shows how this parallel proved politically significant, allowing Irish nationalists to challenge the legitimacy of British rule in Ireland by arguing that British governments were hypocritical to condemn in Poland what they themselves practised in Ireland.

Palgrave Macmillan 


Alison Forrestal and Seán Alexander Smith (eds): The Frontiers of Mission: Perspectives on Early Modern Missionary Catholicism (Brill, 2016).

In exploring the shifting realities of missionary experience during the course of imperialist ventures and the Catholic Reformation, The Frontiers of Mission: Perspectives on Early Modern Missionary Catholicism provides a fresh assessment of the challenges that the Catholic church encountered at the frontiers of mission in the early modern era. ‌Bringing together leading international scholars, the volume tests the assumption that uniformity and co-ordination governed early modern missionary enterprise, and examines the effects of distance and de-centering on a variety of missionaries and religious orders. ‌‌Its essays focus squarely on the experiences of the missionaries themselves to offer a nuanced consideration of the meaning of ‘missionary Catholicism’, and its evolving relationship with newly discovered cultures and political and ecclesiastical authorities.


Gearóid Barry, Enrico Dal Lago, and Róisín Healy (eds): Small Nations and Colonial Peripheries in World War I (Brill, 2016).

This edited volume examines the experience of World War I of small nations, defined here in terms of their relative weakness vis-à-vis the major actors in European diplomacy, and colonial peripheries, encompassing areas that were subject to colonial rule by European empires and thus located far from the heartland of these empires. The chapters address subject nations within Europe, such as Ireland and Poland; neutral states, such as Sweden and Spain; and overseas colonies like Tunisia, Algeria and German East Africa. By combining analyses of both European and extra-European experiences of war, this collection of essays provides a unique comparative perspective on World War I and points the way towards an integrated history of small nations and colonial peripheries.

Contributors are Steven Balbirnie, Gearóid Barry, Jens Boysen, Ingrid Brühwiler, William Buck, AUde Chanson, Enrico Dal Lago, Matias Gardin, Richard Gow, Florian Grafl, Dónal Hassett, Guido Hausmann, Róisín Healy, Conor Morrissey, Michael Neiberg, David Noack, Chris Rominger, Danielle Ross and Christine Strotmann.‌


Rebecca Barr, Sarah-Anne Buckley and Laura Kelly (eds), Engendering Ireland: new reflections on modern history and literature (Cambridge Scholars, 2015).

 Engendering Ireland is a collection of ten essays showcasing the importance of gender in a variety of disciplines. These essays interrogate gender as a concept which encompasses both masculinity and femininity, and which permeates history and literature, culture and society in the modern period. The collection includes historical research which situates Irish women workers within an international economic context; textual analysis which sheds light on the effects of modernity on the home and rising female expectations in the post-war era; the rediscovery of significant Irish women modernists such as Mary Devenport O’Neill; and changing representations of masculinity, race, ethnicity and interculturalism in modern Irish theatre. Each of these ten essays provides a thought-provoking picture of the complex and hitherto unrecognised roles gender has played in Ireland over the last century. While each of these chapters offers a fresh perspective on familiar themes in Irish gender studies, they also illustrate the importance and relevance of gender studies to contemporary debates in Irish society.

Laurence Marley (ed): The British Labour Party & Twentieth-Century Ireland (Manchester University Press, 2015).

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the British Labour Party was broadly supportive of Irish home rule. However, from the end of the First World War, Labour anticipated a place in government, and as a modern, maturing party in British politics, it developed a more calculated set of responses towards Ireland. With contributions from a range of distinguished Irish and British scholars, this collection of essays provides the first full treatment of the historical relationship between the Labour Party and Ireland in the last century, from Keir Hardie to Tony Blair. By widening the lens on Labour's responses to the 'Irish question' over an entire century, it offers an original perspective on longer-term dispositions in Labour mentalities towards Ireland and on the relationship between 'these islands'. It will prove essential reading for those with an interest in modern Irish and British history, Anglo-Irish relations, and the current Northern Ireland peace process.

Manchester University Press

Caitriona Clear: Women's Voices in Ireland Women's Magazines in the 1950s and 60s (Bloomsbury, 2015).

Women's Voices in Ireland examines the letters and problems sent in by women to two Irish women's magazines in the 1950s and 60s, discussing them within their wider social and historical context. In doing so, it provides a unique insight into one of the few forums for female expression in Ireland during this period.

Although in these decades more Irish women than ever before participated in paid work, trade unions and voluntary organizations, their representation in politics and public and their workforce participation remained low. Meanwhile, women who came of age from the late 1950s experienced a freedom which their mothers and aunts - married or single, in the workplace or the home - had never known. Diary and letters pages and problem pages in Irish-produced magazines in the 1950s and 60s enabled women from all walks of life to express their opinions and to seek guidance on the social changes they saw happening around them. ‌

This book, by examining these communications, gives a new insight into the history of Irish women, and also contributes to the ongoing debate about what women's magazines mean for women's history.


John Cunningham and Niall Ó Ciosáin (eds): Culture and Society in Ireland since 1750: Essays in honour of Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh (Lilliput Press, 2015). 

Culture and Society in Ireland since 1750: Essays in honour of Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh collects specially commissioned texts and essays to commemorate Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh’s career as a distinguished academic and educator. Writing on many aspects of modern Irish history, culture and the Irish language, Ó Tuathaigh is best celebrated for his book Ireland before the Famine: 1798-1850, which remains one of the most important surveys of nineteenth-century Ireland.

Contributions include essays on diverse subject-matters by leading scholars including Joëp Leersen, Meidhbhín Ní Úrdail, Cormac Ó Grada, Tom Dunne, and Owen Dudley Edwards. Niall Ó Ciosáin and Micheál Ó Conghaile write on language and literature; Matthew Potter, Andrew Shields, Gerard Moran, Laurence Marley, John Cunningham, Tony Varley and Catriona Clear examine social and political issues; Úna Ní Bhroiméil, Mary Harris, Méabh Ní Fhuartháin and James S. Donnelly Jr. explore cultural and religious identities. Thomas Bartlett, Thomas A. Boylan, Ciara Boylan, Gabriel Doherty and Maura Cronin look at institutions in state and society. J.J. Lee furnishes an introduction. Marie Boran and Margaret Hughes offer a bibliography of Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh’s historical writings.

Lilliput Press

Steven G.Ellis: Defending English Ground War & Peace in Meath & Northumberland, 1460-1542 (Oxford University Press, 2015).

A key duty of the Renaissance monarchy was the defence of its subjects. For the English monarchy, the subject's rule and defence from enemies beyond the long-landed frontiers in Ireland and the English far-north proved an intractable problem. It was not, however, a duty which was accorded a high priority by successsive Yorkist and early Tudor kings, not is it an aspect of state formation which has attracted much attention from modern historians. This study assesses traditional arrangements for defending English ground, the impact of the frontier on border society, and the way in which the topography and patterns of settlement in border regions shaped the character of the march and border itself.Defending

Defending English Ground focuses on two English shires, Meath and Northumberland, in a period during which the ruling magnates of these shires who had hitherto supervised border rule and defence were mostly unavailable to the crown. Unwilling to foot the cost of large garrisons and extended fortifications, successive kings increasingly shifted the costs of defence onto the local population, prompting the border gentry and minor peers to organize themselves through county communities for the rule and defence of the region. This strategy was generally successful in Ireland where the military threat presented by 'the wild Irish' was not so formidable, but in the English far-north Tudor reform, centralized control, and the burden of defence against the Scots soon led to 'the decay of the borders'. 

Oxford University Press

Christopher Maginn and Steven G. Ellis: The Tudor Discovery of Ireland (Four Courts Press, 2015).

The rapid acquisition of knowledge about Ireland in Tudor times constituted a discovery of no small importance for the development of the early modern English state. S.Ellis book cover The Tudor Discovery of IrelandHow the Tudors, and the most influential members of the political establishment who served them, came to be acquainted with Ireland - with its history, with its politics and economy, with its peoples and with its geography - and how that acquired knowledge was applied is the subject of this book. ‌It includes in its analysis an edition of a previously unexamined sixteenth-century manuscript - the Hatfield Compendium- as a means of exploring the phenomenon of knowledge acquisition and its relationship to the determination of Tudor policy.This book shows that before the Tudor conquest of Ireland there was the Tudor discovery of Ireland.‌

Four Courts Press

Enrico Dal Lago: The Age of Lincoln and Cavour Comparative Perspectives on 19th-Century American and Italian Nation-Building (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).

A comparison of the United States and Italy in the nineteenth century yields some remarkable similarities. In both instances, a relatively young country sought to cultivate liberal nationalist sentiments, economic progress, and technological modernization. At the same time, both Italy and the U.S. faced a direct threat to national unity in the form of a recalcitrant southern population, culminating in unprecedented bloodshed and social instability. While many historians have commented on these parallels, they have until now not been subject to a full scholarly study. Here, Enrico Dal Lago provides a nuanced analysis of this era by examining the ideologies of American abolitionism and Italian democratic nationalism, the public personae of Abraham Lincoln and Camillo Cavour, and the bitter conflicts that threatened both nations beginning in 1861. His study provides powerful new insights into the histories of two countries, both on their own terms and in the wider context of the nineteenth-century Euro-American world.

Palgrave Macmillan


Enrico Dal Lago and Róisín Healy (eds): The Shadow of Colonialism on Europe's Modern Past. Cambridge Imperial & Post-Colonial Studies (Palgrave, 2014).

Scholars have generally assumed the objects of colonialism to have been non-European peoples, especially those living in Africa and Asia. Acknowledging the significance of current historiographical debates about different colonial experiences, this book breaks new ground in investigating the extent to which European peoples living in Europe were also subjected to colonialism. The image of the shadow, with its connotations of darkness, distortion, and elasticity, highlights the pervasive, yet uneven, influence of the ideologies and Shadowpractices of colonialism across the European continent and its consequences for the lives of ordinary Europeans in peripheral regions. This shadow reached its height in the century between the 1860s and 1960s, as nation-states were consolidated and colonial empires expanded and then contracted. The chapters of this volume explore this phenomenon in case studies featuring Ireland, southern Italy, Schleswig, Alsace, Poland, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ukraine and Hungary.‌


Pádraig Lenihan: The Last Cavalier: Richard Talbot (1631 - 91) (UCD Press, 2014).

Left for dead at the sack of Drogheda, Richard Talbot later ingratiated himself with the future James II by plotting to assassinate Oliver Cromwell. ‌Using fresh primary sources The Last Cavalier: Richard Talbot (1631-91) traces how Talbot, though a gallant, gamester and 'cunning dissembling courtier', grew to be more than just another Restoration rake.‌ He took on the cause of reconciling his countrymen's allegiance to London and to Rome and, under a Catholic king, clawing back their lost status and power. Talbot, now Earl of Tyrconnell and viceroy, almost succeeded but after the Boyne (where he led the Jacobite army in battle) he lost his grip. The Last Cavalier is the first full-scale biography of a great though not a good man.

UCD Press

Sarah-Anne Buckley, The Cruelty Man: Child Welfare, the NSPCC and the State in Ireland, 1889-1956, (Manchester University Press, 2013).

Recent debates surrounding children in State care, parental rights, and abuse in Ireland's industrial schools, concern issues that are rooted in the historical record. By examining the social problems addressed by philanthropists and child protection workers from the nineteenth century, we can begin to understand more about the treatment of children and the family today. In Ireland, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) was the principle organisation involved in investigating families and protecting children. The 'cruelty men', as NSPCC inspectors were known, acted as child protection workers and 'children's police'. This book looks at their history as well as the history of Ireland's industrial schools, poverty in Irish families, changing ideas around childhood and parenthood and the lives of children in Ireland from 1838 to 1970. It is a history filled with stories of real families, families often at the mercy of the State, the Catholic Church and voluntary organisations. It is a must-read for all with an interest in the Irish family and Irish childhood past and present. 

Manchester University Press

Steven G. Ellis and Raingard Esser (eds): Frontier and Border Regions in Early Modern Europe, The Formation of Europe –Historische Formationen Europas 7 (Wehrhahn Verlag, 2013).

That regional identities are constructed is now something of a truism in academic research. More recently regions have been conceptualized in the framework of Frontier and Border Formation of EuropeStudies, thus emphasizing their relationship to their neighbours in another state across a boundary line. In early modern frontier regions, customs and culture, law and languages, and social and administrative structures very often did not conform to national norms – cross-border ties, and acculturation were of the essence of frontier society. The essays of this volume reassess the role of politics in early modern border societies. Recent historiographical trends, so it is argued, have underplayed this, focusing on cultural exchange and transfer rather than on division and exclusion. The authors investigate whether the focus on communality and reciprocity put forward in recent scholarship has not overshadowed the importance of categories such as the rule of law and administrative and other institutional networks based on political power structures which were distinct on the two sides of the border. Difference was and is a common feature in Europe and its borders. Borders themselves provide normative patterns that regulate interaction both between states and border societies.

This collection of essays on Frontier and Border Regions in Early Modern Europe addresses a range of problems faced by political authorities in a number of European states c.1500–1800. Instruments of power such as confessional policy, military rule, or the writing of official histories are investigated in their interplay with a regional agenda.

Wehrhahn Verlag

Enrico Dal Lago, William Lloyd Garrison and Giuseppe Mazzini: Abolition, Democracy, and Radical Reform (LSU Press, 2013). 

William Lloyd Garrison and Giuseppe Mazzini, two of the foremost radicals of the nineteenth century, lived during a time of profound economic, social, and political transformation in GarrisonAmerica and Europe. Both born in 1805, but into dissimilar family backgrounds, the American Garrison and Italian Mazzini led entirely different lives—one as a citizen of a democratic republic, the other as an exile proscribed by most European monarchies. Using a comparative analysis, Enrico Dal Lago suggests that Garrison and Mazzini nonetheless represent a connection between the egalitarian ideologies of American abolitionism and Italian democratic nationalism.

Focusing on Garrison’s and Mazzini’s activities and transnational links within their own milieus and in the wider international arena, Dal Lago shows why two nineteenth-century progressives and revolutionaries considered liberation from enslavement and liberation from national oppression as two sides of the same coin. At different points in their lives, both Garrison and Mazzini demonstrated this belief by concurrently supporting the abolition of slavery in the United States and the national revolutions in Italy. The two meetings Garrison and Mazzini had, in 1846 and in 1867, served to reinforce their sense that they somehow worked together toward the achievement of liberty not just in the United States and Italy, but also in the Atlantic and Euro-American world as a whole. In the end, the abolition of American slavery led to Garrison’s consecration, while the new Italian kingdom forced Mazzini into exile. Despite these different outcomes, Garrison and Mazzini both attracted legions of devoted followers who believed these men personified the radical causes of the nations to which they belonged. 

LSU Press 

Kevin O'Sullivan: Ireland, Africa and the end of empire: Small state identity in the Cold War, 1955-75 (Manchester University Press, 2012).

In the twenty years after Ireland joined the UN in 1955, one subject dominated its fortunes: Africa. The first detailed study of Ireland's relationship with that continent, this book Ireland Africa
‌documents its special place in Irish history. Adopting a highly original, and strongly comparative approach, it shows how small and middling powers like Ireland, Canada, the Netherlands and the Nordic states used Africa to shape their position in the international system, and how their influence waned with the rise of the Afro-Asian bloc. O'Sullivan chronicles Africa's impact on Irish foreign policy; the link between African decolonisation and Irish post-colonial identity; and the missionaries, aid workers, diplomats, peacekeepers, and anti-apartheid protesters at the heart of Irish popular understanding of the developing world. Offering a fascinating account of small state diplomacy, and a unique perspective on African decolonisation, this book provides essential insight for scholars of Irish history, African history, international relations, and the history of NGOs, as well as anyone interested in Africa's important place in the Irish public imagination.

Manchester University Press

Tomas Finn: Tuairim, Intellectual Debate and Policy Formation: Rethinking Ireland, 1965-75, (Manchester University Press, 2012). 

A new book examining the history of a "think tank", established in the mid 1950s, to challenge the ways Ireland was governed, socially, politically and economically, has been published Tuairimby Manchester University Press. "Tuairim: intellectual debate and policy formulation: Rethinking Ireland, 1954-75", was written by Dr Tomas Finn, a lecturer in modern Irish History at NUI Galway.

Tuairim (the Irish word for "opinion") was an intellectual movement that challenged traditional orthodoxy and put forward new ideas and fresh solutions. From the 1950s, Tuairim's members, who included the late Garret Fitzgerald, future Supreme Court Judge Donal Barrington, Miriam Hederman O'Brien, Jim Doolan and David Thornley, sought to influence debate and public policy in an attempt to re-invent the country. This book argues that Tuairim influenced the key public policy decisions that shaped modern Ireland. Investment in education, reforms to censorship and the system of childcare, the central importance of economic plannint to Ireland's future and moves towards a more conciliatory policy in relation to Northern Ireland were policies on which Tuairim's members voiced influential arguments.

The book also considers Tuairim's contributions to debates on both administrative and Oireachtas reform and those on the quality of ideas informing public policy. The society's hopes for moves towards equality of opportunity, and increased co-operation, provoked a strong reaction from vested interests, particularly the Catholic Church , but also facilitated increased activity by the state. In assessing the relative successes and failures of the organisation in these areas, the book is an addition to the current public debate on national policy and its administration and Ireland's intellectual and cultural development in the post-Celtic Tiger period.

Manchester University Press 

Gearóid Barry: The Disarmament of Hatred: Mark Sangnier, French Catholicism and the Legacy of the First World War, 1914-45 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).

The Ruhr invasion of 1923 prolonged the antagonism of the First World War between France and Germany. Challenging this rhetoric of enmity from 1921, French veteran and CatholicDisarmament of Hatred politician Marc Sangnier angered many by inviting the 'enemy' to Paris. Through his audacious Peace Congresses, Sangnier placed himself at the centre of a broader European civic campaign for moral disarmament or the 'disarmament of hatred'. European détente after 1924 lent currency to such staged reconciliation and crossing of borders. Mining a variety of sources, both known and new, Gearóid Barry documents the Peace Congresses' surprising resonance and political ecumenism (embracing Quakers, secularists, socialists and the pope) while reconfiguring the transnational histories of youth movements, women's peace activism and Christian Democracy. Pledged to reject 'war culture', these peace activists shared excruciating new choices between peace and appeasement in the 1930s. This story casts new light on key questions in European history in the era of two World Wars.

Palgrave MacMillan

Enrico Dal Lago: American Slavery, Atlantic Slavery, and beyond: The U.S. "Peculiar Institution" in International Perspective (Paradigm Publishers, 2012). 

American Slavery, Atlantic Slavery, and Beyond provides an up-to-date summary of past and present views of American slavery in international perspective and suggests new directions American Slaveryfor current and future comparative scholarship. It argues that we can better understand the nature and meaning of American slavery and antislavery if we place them clearly within a Euro-American context. Current scholarship on American slavery acknowledges the importance of the continental and Atlantic dimensions of the historical phenomenon, comparing it often with slavery in the Caribbean and Latin America. However, since the 1980s, a handful of studies has looked further and has compared American slavery with European forms of unfree and nominally free labor. Building on this innovative scholarship, this book treats the U.S. “peculiar institution” as part of both an Atlantic and a wider Euro-American world. It shows how the Euro-American context is no less crucial than the Atlantic one in understanding colonial slavery and the American Revolution in an age of global enlightenment, reformism, and revolutionary upheavals; the Cotton Kingdom’s heyday in a world of systems of unfree labor; and the making of radical Abolitionism and the occurrence of the American Civil War at a time when nationalist ideologies and nation-building movements were widespread.

Paradigm Publishers

Daibhi Ó Cróinín and Immo Warntjes (eds): The Easter controversy of Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages: Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on the Science of Computus in Ireland and Europe, Galway, 18-20 July, 2008 (Brepols, 2011).

2010 saw the publication of the Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on the Science of Computus in Ireland and Europe, which took place in Galway, 14–16 July, 2006. That CompConfProceedings first collection, which had the sub-title Computus and its Cultural Context in the Latin West, AD 300–1200, brought together papers by ten of the leading scholars in the field, on subjects ranging from the origins of the Annus Domini to the study of computus in Ireland c. 1100. All those who participated in the Conference were unanimous that a second, follow-up event should be organized, and that duly took place (also in Galway), 18–20 July, 2008. The proceedings of that Conference are published in this current volume. 

The topics covered in the 2nd Galway Conference ranged from the general – but vitally important – vocabulary of computus (i.e., the technical terminology developed by computists to describe what they were doing) to the origins of the different systems used to calculate the date of Easter in Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. In addition, there was discussion also of the great debates about Easter, epitomized by the famous Synod of Whitby in AD 664, and the role of well-known individuals in the evolution of computistical knowledge (e.g., Anatolius of Laodicea, the African Augustalis, Sulpicius Severus, Victorius of Aquitaine, Cassiodorus, Dionysius Exiguus, Willibrord, the ninth-century Irish scholar-exile, Dicuil, as well as the late-tenth century Abbo of Fleury).


Nicholas Canny and Philip Morgan (eds): The Oxford Handbook of the Atlantic World 1450-1850 (Oxford University Press, 2011).

The essays in this volume provide a comprehensive overview of Atlantic history from c.1450 to c.1850, offering a wide-ranging and authoritative account of the movement of people, plants, pathogens, products, and cultural practices-to mention some of the key agents—around and within the Atlantic basin. As a result of these movements, new peoples, economies, societies, polities, and cultures arose in the lands and islands touched by the Atlantic Ocean, while others were destroyed.

The team of scholars in this volume seek to describe, explain, and, occasionally, challenge conventional wisdom concerning these path-breaking developments. They demonstrate connections, explore contrasts, and probe themes. During the four centuries encompassed by this collection, pan-Atlantic webs of association emerged that progressively linked people, objects, and beliefs across and within the region. Events in one corner of the Atlantic world had effects, reverberations thousands of miles away. The great virtue of thinking in Atlantic terms is that it encourages broad perspectives, unexpected comparisons, trans-national orientations, and expanded horizons; the parochialism that characterizes so much history writing and instruction today, as in the past, has a chance of being overcome.

 Oxford University Press

Dáibhí Ó Cróinín: Whitley Stokes (1830-1909): The Lost Celtic Notebooks Rediscovered (Four Courts Press, 2010).

Whitley Stokes was described as 'the greatest of living Celtic philologists'.  the discovery, by Professor Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, NUI Galway, of all Stokes's 150 working Celtic notebooks, Whitley Stokesunnoticed since 1919 in the Universirty Library, Leipzig, has only now revealed the extent of Stokes's astonishing industry in his later years, and makes available the manuscript notebooks that Stokes used during a lifetime of research in Celtic studies.

Four Courts Press


Enrico Dal Lago: Comparative Slavery - chapter 30 in The Oxford Handbook of Slavery in the Americas, ed. Robert L. Paquette & Mark M. Smith (Oxford University Press 2010, pp 664-684).

The Oxford Handbook of Slavery in the Americas offers penetrating, original, and authoritative essays on the history and historiography of the institution of slavery inSlavery the New World. With essays on colonial and antebellum America, Brazil, the Caribbean, the Indies, and South America, the Handbook has impressive geographic and temporal coverage. It also includes a generous range of thematic essays on comparative slavery, the economics of slavery, historical methodology in the field, slavery and the law, for instance.

Oxford University Press

Dáibhí Ó Cróinín: Computus and its Cultural Context in the Latin West, AD 300 - 1200, Immo Warntjes & Dáibhí Ó Cróinín (eds), in the series Studia Traditionis Theologiae - Explorations in Early and Medieval Theology (Brepols, 2010). 

This publication is the proceedings of the 1st International Conference on the Science of Computus in Ireland and Europe, Galway, 14 -16 July CompConfProceedings2006. The conference was organised by the Foundations of Irish Culture project, directed by Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, and drew together international scholars interested in computus, astronomy and related subjects in the period AD 400-850.  The success of the first conference and the interest it engendered resulted in two more biennial conferences  (2008 & 2010) whose proceedings are forthcoming soon, and the promise of a fourth conference in 2012. 

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