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Dr Billy Leonard brings a wealth of personal and political experiences to bear on his subject of a united Ireland. His journey from Unionism, including a period in the part-time Royal Ulster Constabulary Reserve, to Republicanism, including his time as an elected representative, help make this a unique book. The author lifts the topic away from the mere aspirational call to outlining the political work that needs to be done. It is constantly punctuated with personal recollections and strong recommendations. Whatever your opinion on Irish unity this book makes a major contribution.
Hopes for a peaceful settlement in Northern Ireland have again put the politics of the province under the spotlight. This new text, written by acknowledged experts on Northern Ireland, provides an immediately accessible introduction to the multi-faceted nature of the politics of the region.
Crafting Infinity is a multi-disciplinary collection of essays that investigates how aspects of traditional Irish culture have been revised, retooled, and repackaged in the interest of maintaining the integrity of Irish myth tales, artistic values, spiritual foundations, and historic icons. From perspectives on early Irish Christianity to national mythology, traditional Irish music, Irish history represented in film, literary inventiveness, and evidence of the Irish diaspora, this study examines how artists, writers, theorists, and emigrants from Ireland re-interpreted, and reshaped Irish traditions, often invoking Ireland’s relationship with other nations before it acquired independence. Because with each retelling of legend, reworking of musical styles, and recreating of historic events, there has been inventiveness and alterations, inconsistencies affirm that the continuators of Irish tradition both preserve and alter their source materials and reshape iconic figures. The end product of these endeavors is tantamount to infinity, for just as Standish O’Grady, William Butler Yeats, James Joyce, Elizabeth Bowen, Jennifer Johnston, and Edna O’Brien craft fiction or rewrite folklore, with Irish characters and themes, while borrowing from other cultural wellsprings (such as Orientalism or French design), so exporters of Irish art forms and dispositions towards musical style, nationalism, and spirituality necessarily reconfigure the original, as no tradition can remain pure indefinitely. Each facet of Irish culture takes on the quality of a Celtic knot, artistically infinite in its circular design, and indestructible in its universal presence and recognition. In Crafting Infinity, each contributor dismantles a quality of Irish history, culture, or the arts, revealing how a multiplicity of interpretations can be applied to Irish traditions.
This collection adds to the extensive literature on Northern Ireland and Ireland by bringing together the leading academic and political figures working in the field and offering a comprehensive, multidisciplinary overview of the historical process. The topics discussed include the remote and proximate causes of the conflict, fresh developments within the two states on the island, the role of the Roman Catholic Church, the rise of the ecumenical movement and the impact of the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement on the triangular relationship between Dublin, Belfast and London. The volume concludes with an evaluation of likely impact of membership of the European Community on the conflict in Northern Ireland. The contributors to this book do not offer any easy solutions but provide a context in which the problem may be better understood by the international scholarly community and by the interested general reader.
Described by Padraig Pearse as the “greatest of the Fenians”, John Devoy was born before the Famine and lived to see the Irish tricolour flying from Dublin Castle. The descendent of a rebel family, he was an avowed Fenian who went into exile in New York in 1871. Over the next half-century he was the most-prominent leader of the Irish-American nationalist movement. Every Irish leader from Parnell to Pearse sought his counsel. He organised a dramatic rescue of Fenian prisoners from Australia, rallied Irish America behind the Land War, served as a middle man between the Easter rebels and the German government, and helped move Irish-American opinion in favour of the Treaty. When he died in 1928, Devoy was accorded a state funeral and a hero’s burial in Ireland. This new revised edition of the acclaimed biography of this overlooked architect of the Irish independence movement is also the story of Ireland, and of Irish-America, from the Famine to Freedom, examining the extraordinary cloak-and-dagger planning of the Easter Rising and the critical role of America in its outcome. “The Devoy story, in Terry Golway’s hands, combines wide scholarship and adventure: it reads like a novel. Get a comfortable chair when you read this book: you won’t be able to put it down.” – Frank McCourt “Terry Golway tells the story of this exceptional man with affection and deft narrative sense…this book will charm and enlighten readers.” – Thomas Keneally
By early 1941, the war raged in Europe and Great Britain stood alone against the aerial might of Nazi Germany. Although much of the Royal Air Force's pilot training program had been relocated to Canada and other Dominion countries, the need for pilots remained acute. The British looked to the United States for possible assistance. Passage of the Lend-Lease Act in March 1941 allowed for the training of British pilots in the United States and the formation of British Flying Training Schools. These unique schools were owned by American operators, staffed with American civilian instructors, supervised by British Royal Air Force officers, utilized aircraft supplied by the U.S. Army Air Corps, and used the RAF training syllabus. Within these pages, Tom Killebrew provides the first comprehensive history of all seven British Flying Training Schools located in Terrell, Texas; Lancaster, California; Miami, Oklahoma; Mesa, Arizona; Clewiston, Florida; Ponca City, Oklahoma; and Sweetwater, Texas. The first British students arrived in a still-neutral United States in June 1941. Many had never been in an airplane (or even driven an automobile), but they mastered the elements of flight, attended ground school classes, were introduced to the mysteries of the Link trainer and instrument flight, and then ventured out on cross country exercises. Students began night flying with the natural apprehension associated with taking off into a black sky, aided by only a few instruments, a flickering flare path, and limited ground references. Some students failed the periodic check flights and had to be eliminated from training, while others were killed during mishaps and are buried in local cemeteries. Those who finished the course became Royal Air Force pilots. But the story of the British Flying Training Schools is more than the story of young men learning to fly. These young British students would also forge a strong and long-lasting bond of friendship with the Americans they came to know. This bond would last not only during training, but would continue throughout the war, and still exist long after the end of the war.

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