We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Ireland Since 1958

 28.95

by Fintan O’Toole

Fintan O’Toole’s magnificent history of Ireland in his own time.

‘A clear-eyed, myth-dispelling masterpiece. Engaging, analytical, insightful, fascinating, this is a hugely important book’ Marian Keyes

‘Sweeping, authoritative and profoundly intelligent’ Colm Tóibín, Guardian

We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Ireland Since 1958

We Don’t Know Ourselves is a very personal vision of recent Irish history from the year of O’Toole’s birth, 1958, down to the present. Ireland has changed almost out of recognition during those decades, and Fintan O’Toole’s life coincides with that arc of transformation. The book is a brilliant interweaving of memories (though this is emphatically not a memoir) and engrossing social and historical narrative.

The disintegration of the old alliance of Catholic church and state is mapped in a series of dramatic episodes. Certain themes recur – of things that were known but could never be acknowledged, of cruelty and corruption hidden in plain sight. This was the era of Eamon de Valera, Jack Lynch, Charles Haughey and John Charles McQuaid, of sectarian civil war in the North and the Pope’s triumphant visit in 1979, but also of those who began to speak out against the ruling consensus – feminists, advocates for the rights of children, gay men and women coming out of the shadows.

There is a quiet and sober anger in O’Toole’s description of child abuse at every level of the state and educational system, the punishment of women as sexual beings, the IRA’s psychological ability to portray themselves as victims of a conflict in which they were the worst perpetrators, and the sheer arrogance of the church’s power.

We Don’t Know Ourselves is an essential book for anyone who wishes to understand modern Ireland.

About the Author

Fintan O’Toole is the author of Heroic Failure, Ship of Fools, A Traitor’s Kiss, White Savage and other acclaimed books. He is a columnist for the Irish Times and the Milberg Professor of Irish Letters at Princeton University.

The LitVox Bookshop

Our bookshop’s range grows by the day. Moreover, we pride ourselves on being able to track down and obtain any book our customers want. Our recommendations service is open for all to use.  If you’re buying your books as a gift, we can gift-wrap them in a lovely bundle and send them wherever in the world you wish! We can even hand-write your greetings card with your personal message. How good is that!!?? Pretty good, we think.

Remember that if you’re buying books as a gift, we also offer a wide-range of book prints, gifts and greetings cards for readers of all ages! Check out our print studio and gift-shop today. If you have any special requests for your order or need further gift inspiration, just contact our team at hello@litvox.com, we’re ready and waiting to help!

Weight 0.3 kg
Dimensions 12.8 × 3.5 × 19.7 cm

You may also like…

  • The Republic: The Fight for Irish Independence, 1918-1923

    The Republic: The Fight for Irish Independence, 1918-1923

     15.00
  • The Border

    The Border

     13.00
  • In Sunshine or In Shadow

    In Sunshine or in Shadow

     13.00
  • Ireland's Forgotten Past

    Ireland’s Forgotten Past

     13.00