Nonfiction from Nic Dhiarmada on the Irish Rebellion | Xpress Reviews

Week ending April 22, 2016

Nic Dhiarmada, Bríona. The 1916 Irish Rebellion. Univ. of Notre Dame. Mar. 2016. 240p. photos. ISBN 9780268036140. $45. HIST
irishrebellion042216twoA companion volume to the PBS documentary 1916: The Irish Rebellion, this brief history of events of the period will be a valuable accompaniment to viewers. Tied to the arc told by the film, it may seem like an oddly chosen assortment to those who haven’t seen the program. However, Nic Dhiarmada (Irish language and literature, Univ. of Notre Dame) does an excellent job of gathering primary sources, visual and textual, that illustrate the build-up to as well as the events of Easter Week 1916. She goes well beyond the usual profiles of the leaders of the Rising and the stock photographs of the General Post Office. Her selection of textual sources is provocative of deeper reflection on the issues surrounding the Rising, not just the related military events. This volume is more illustrative than analytic; readers interested in further analysis of the Rising should consider Kenneth Griffith and Timothy O’Grady’s Ireland’s Unfinished Revolution: An Oral History or Diarmaid Ferriter’s A Nation and Not a Rabble: The Irish Revolution 1913–23.
Verdict An excellent companion volume that will also be enjoyed by readers interested in modern Irish history.—Hanna Clutterbuck-Cook, Harvard Univ. Lib., Cambridge, MA