Sunday 19 November 2017

James Downey: An ambiguous decade that helped mould today's Ireland

James Downey

James Downey

LAST January I made a New Year resolution, to commemorate Charles Dickens's bicentenary by re-reading all his major novels.

This resolution has gone the way of too many other good intentions. But I have an excuse. My reading in 2012 included two blockbusters of the kind that take up weeks if not months of one's spare time. And I don't regret a minute of the exercise.

Diarmaid Ferriter is only 39 but his output, in quality and quantity, exceeds that of writers twice his age. Several of his books have become bestsellers, and 'Ambiguous Republic: Ireland in the 1970s' deserves to follow them on to the list.

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