R.F. Foster's The Irish Story: Telling Tales and Making it Up in Ireland examines how key events in Irish history have been recast and retold to serve a multiplicity of purposes.
In this provocative and extremely funny book Roy Foster demolishes the clichs that surround Ireland's past, examining how key moments have been turned into myths - and, more recently, airbrushed and repackaged for Hollywood and popular culture.
Whether discussing the 'misery tourism' of Famine theme parks, ideas of mystical Celticism, the contested 'Irishness' of Yeats or the sentimentalized childhoods of Angela's Ashes and Gerry Adams's memoir, The Irish Story brilliantly separates the tall tales from the truth.
'Brilliantly scathing ... combative, incisive and immensely enjoyable'
Fintan O'Toole, Irish Times
'Inspirational ... challenging, illuminating and witty'
Antonia Fraser, Irish Times Books of the Year
'Very funny ... the Irish story has rarely received so lively and unbiased an unfolding'
Patricia Craig, Independent
'A complex and supremely intelligent revision of Irish identity'
Colm Tibn, Independent Books of the Year
'Blazingly good ... lucid and elegant'
John Lloyd, Financial Times
R. F. Foster is Carroll Professor of Irish History at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford. His books include Modern Ireland: 1600-1972, Luck and the Irish and W. B. Yeats: A Life.
R.F. Foster is Carroll Professor of Irish History at Oxford University.
His books include MODERN IRELAND 1600-1972 and the first volume of W.B. YEATS: A LIFE.
In 2000 he was a Booker Prize judge.
THE IRISH STORY was shortlisted for the 2001 Orwell Prize.