Review: Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion by Charles Townshend

Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion - Charles Townshend

Don't bother with this book unless you have a background knowledge of Irish history. This book is wonderfully researched, down to details that at times are trivial. The opening of this book (the introduction and first two chapters) go into further background detail of what led up to the planning of, execution of plans, and the consequences of the uprising (including how the 1916 rebellion contrasted with the 1918 conscription resistance and the 1920s civil war). The epilogue was probably the most interesting part of this book; it dealt with how the rebellion was remembered in the history books and in the 50th (1966) and 75th (1991)anniversaries.


There are a lot of names to remember and keep track of on both sides of the rebellion, and the version I read did not have a list/glossary of names to refer back to. The writing itself is very dense and dry, yet objective - the author does not play up one side over the other and honestly everyone seems either naïve or incompetent. The few Irish nationalists that opposed the uprising proved to be the only smart, long-term thinking ones in the room (yep, all two of them; needless to say, they were outmanned and out shouted).


I am glad I read this book. But honestly, it is the type of micro-history that unless you are very interested in the geographic place or time, it is not worth it. 3 stars.