logo-cropped

Nottingham’s independent bookshop | 14a Long Row, Nottingham NG1 2DH | 0115 8373097

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

O’Toole, Fintan
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Published: September 30, 2021
ISBN: 9781784978297
624 pages, 2 x 8pp b&w
Country of publication: United Kingdom

£25.00

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 Toibin, GuardianWe 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.

Postage is calculated at 10% of your order value, up to a maximum of £3.00. There is a free postage option at checkout if you are housebound/shielding, on low income, or need help with postage costs for any other reason.  Your order will usually arrive within 2-3 working days. Delivery prices and times to other countries may vary (prices calculated at checkout).