Irish Academic Press and Merrion presents our new books programme for spring 2014. The Books that Define Ireland is a brilliant survey by Bryan Fanning and Tom Garvin of the books that have shaped Irish history and society over the last four centuries, and is certain to excite much comment and controversy. The first ever biography of Frank Aiken by Bryce Evans and Stephen Kelly is a long overdue study of one of the most significant Irish revolutionaries and politicians of the twentieth century. A hugely significant figure from the field of Irish medicine was Dorothy Stopford Price and her remarkable life-story is the subject of Anne MacLellan’s sensitive biography. While in El Proyecto Macnamara John Fox recounts the extraordinary globe-trotting exploits of Eugene Macnamara, the little known nineteenth century Irish priest who played a major role in the 1846-48 US-Mexican War.
Still in the 1840s but moving from the global to the local, Gerard MacAtasney recounts in shocking detail the sheer devastation wrought on county Leitrim during the Great Famine in The Dead Buried by the Dying while Mark McLoughlin tells the happier story of the famous Kildare Barracks which played a central role in the life of that county during the twentieth century. A magnificent occasion in the history of Cork City is celebrated by Daniel Breen and Tom Spalding in their beautifully illustrated book The Cork International Exhibition 1902-1903 which gloriously brings to life Cork at the dawn of the twentieth century and the poignant marvels of a bygone age.
The late Victorian era is the setting for Mr Parnell’s Rottweiler in which Myles Dungan deftly analyses the battle between the British government and the Parnellite newspaper United Ireland during the tumultuous 1880s. Three centuries of Irish education are examined by Karin Fischer and Deirdre Raftery in Educating Ireland, but this year of course marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War and we begin our exploration of Ireland’s involvement in that conflict with Ken Kinsella’s Out of the Dark 1914-1918 which presents a detailed military, social and family history of south county Dublin as a context to the poignant stories of the men from the area who enlisted and made the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefields of the Western Front.