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Revolutionary account given presidential accolade

Mansion House

Brunel’s Dr Maurice Walsh has picked up the plaudits for his groundbreaking examination of the Irish fight for independence in the context of a world in turmoil.

Praised for its scholarship, empathy, grace and elegance and described as “a beautiful book” by Irish President Michael D Higgins, Dr Walsh’s book Bitter Freedom: Ireland in a Revolutionary World 1918-1923 considers Ireland in the context of the close of World War I.

The book, released this month in paperback, depicts Ireland as part of a civilisation in disarray. The national revolution, which captured worldwide attention everywhere from India to Argentina, was itself profoundly shaped by international events, political, economic and cultural.

Featured in the New Statesman, Irish Times and New York Review of Books, the work has helped bring to life the experiences of Irish people removed from the fighting, from the films they watched to the books they read.

Reviewers have praised the book as “the most vivid and dramatic account of this epoch to date” and a vivid narrative that is “superbly crafted and a joy to read”.

Bitter freedom: Ireland in a revolutionary world 1918-1923 is published by Faber & Faber and available here.

Pictured: Crowds gather outside Dublin's Mansion House in 1921, one day before a truce is reached