On the morning of 11 October 1921, the world’s media watched as Michael Collins, leader of the ‘Irish murder gang’, bounded through the door of 10 Downing Street. Moments later, he shook hands with the British Prime Minister.
So began the first day of the most important political negotiations in modern Anglo-Irish history. Nearly two months later, in the early hours of 6 December 1921, the talks culminated in the signing of what in Ireland is known simply as ‘the Treaty’ – a document that had been designed to end one violent conflict, but which soon gave rise to another.
A century on from its signing, award-winning journalist Gretchen Friemann has produced a gripping account of the tense and protracted negotiations between the Irish and British delegations. The book shines a fresh light on the complex politics and high-stakes bargaining that produced the agreement.
A stunningly vivid piece of narrative history that resonates across the intervening century to the age of Brexit, The Treaty is a must-read for anyone who wishes to understand modern Ireland and the enduring complexities of British–Irish relations.
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