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On 28 November 2010, the Irish government infamously agreed to a bailout from the Troika to save Ireland's failing economy. This decision had huge and long-lasting social implications for Ireland and her people, and led to the annihilation of Fianna F�il and its allies in the 2011 general election. In 'Hell at the Gates', Brian Cowen, the late Brian Lenihan, Eamon Ryan, Miche�l Martin, Mary Harney and many others, recount for the first time in their own words the inside story behind the actions of the most hated government in living memory. The result is a deeply honest, intensely personal and revelation-strewn account of their experiences in the white heat of an economic meltdown. It reveals the extent to which Cowen and Lenihan's relationship disintegrated, how members of the government were physically attacked by the public and also gives the definitive account by Miche�l Martin himself of why he chose in early 2011 to move against his embattled leader. As Mary O'Rourke said of those days, 'There was drama, tragedy, pathos, comedy, farce, love and death. It was like a Shakespearean drama.' John Lee and Daniel McConnell have interviewed the people who were at the coalface of this drama, to produce a gripping account of those fateful days in and around Leinster House.
Fianna Fáil was for most of the 20th century the democratic world’s most successful political party. It dominated the politics of Ireland from 1932, when it first took power, until 2011 when it became a prominent electoral victim of the Great Recession. This book provides original research that explains how Fianna Fáil became dominant and managed its coalitions of support to maintain that position for eight decades. It gathers prominent political scientists who focus on a variety of factors including its ideological flexibility, control of state resources and the venue for decision making, the party’s leadership, its organisation and communications strategies. In addition the book takes a comparative approach to understanding the position of dominant parties in democratic countries, and uses empirical data to understand the sources of its support and decline. It is a book that will be of interest not only to scholars of Ireland, but also to those who wish to understand the sources of power of dominant political parties and the impact of the Great Recession on democratic politics. This book was originally published as a special issue of Irish Political Studies.
Only 10 per cent of those who have sat at the cabinet table in Ireland in almost 100 years have been women, totalling just 19 female politicians. Along with the two former female presidents of Ireland, all of the living members of this exclusive club are interviewed here for the first time, collectively bringing together their voices to reveal the challenges and triumphs of getting to the top table of Irish political life. The interviewees are Mary Robinson, Mary McAleese, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Gemma Hussey, Mary O’Rourke, Nora Owen, Niamh Bhreathnach, Mary Harney, Síle de Valera, Mary Coughlan, Mary Hanafin, Joan Burton, Frances Fitzgerald, Jan O’Sullivan, Heather Humphreys, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Katherine Zappone, Regina Doherty and Josepha Madigan. From the battles to have their voices heard to balancing a career with family life, dealing with various levels of sexism and an enduring focus on appearance, their personal stories are dramatic, colourful and inspiring. In opening up about how they secured a place at the top table of political life, these women give us remarkable insights into a changing Ireland. ‘A fascinating and compelling read that couldn’t be more timely.’ Miriam O’Callaghan ‘A timely and important contribution to the contemporary reflection on women’s historic and future place in Irish society and public life.’ Emily O’Reilly, European Ombudsman
Praise for Game Over: "A surprisingly compelling book.."."Highly readable" - Peter Spiegel in the Financial Times "A brisk and lucid account of Greece's descent into economic hell.."."among the most important books on the Greek crisis" - Marcus Walker in the Wall Street Journal "The most important book to date on the 6-year crisis" - Kathimerini "The pages where the political account turns into a legal and existential thriller are some of the most electrifying" - Ta Nea "A Greek patriot's important, readable chronicle" Fmr. EU Commissioner Olli Rehn "More suspense than in Stieg Larsson's trilogy. Excellent, scary and well written. Highly recommended!" Jens Henriksson "You don't get closer to the Greek tragedy than this.... Very well written. A must-read, for insiders and outsiders" - @w_lelieveld "The best book about the Greek crisis comes from an insider: 'Game Over' is a must read!" - @jens_bastian In this real-life political thriller, former Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou tells the inside story of the six years during which the Greek drama changed Europe and riveted the world. It is the story of a country forced by past mistakes into unprecedented actions with enormously painful consequences. A story about the people who shaped events by trying to respond to rapidly evolving circumstances often beyond their control. About decisions - good and bad, right and wrong - taken in official and behind-the-scenes gatherings in Brussels, Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris, London, New York, Washington and Athens; in Luxembourg chateaux courtyards, Davos kitchens and Bilderberg gatherings; in elegant offices and dreary basement meetings rooms. The story begins in October 2009 in Athens, when after a landslide victory, the new government shocks the world by announcing a fiscal deficit of an alarming size, until then kept secret. The "accident waiting to happen" since the launch of the Euro is finally here - but there are no contingency plans to deal with it, and the systemic nature of the crisis is initially not fully appreciated. When a bailout mechanism is finally put together, it fails to convince markets that the Eurozone will do whatever it takes to prevent the bankruptcy of one of its members. The bluff is called, and Greece is forced to apply in May 2010 for a massive loan from the Eurozone and the IMF, and accept a harsh austerity program. As the first loan installment arrives one day before the country declares default, the first wage and pension cuts produce riots and social unrest which leave three people dead. But the crisis is not over - it mutates. Delays in recognizing the problem and mistakes in the way it is dealt with end up opening the gates of hell for the entire Eurozone. Ireland is forced into a bailout - Portugal follows. And in Greece, the initial good program results are soon swept away by the concern in international markets that Greece might exit the Eurozone. Meanwhile the continuing austerity leads to an ever-deeper recession, rapidly rising unemployment, increasing social tensions, and real suffering. Six years down the road since the crisis erupted, Greece is in its third bailout, still in a severe social and economic crisis, and there are so many questions. Were other solutions available? Should Greece have threatened to default in order to get a better deal? Should there have been debt relief from the beginning? Would Greece have been better off if it had left the Euro? Has Greece saved the Euro but not itself? The book addresses these questions with the eye of someone at the heart of decision-making during the crisis. This is the breath-taking story of an incredible period, told for the first time not by an outside observer, but by one of its protagonists. "

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