Although this book is a great overview of Irish history, there is so much to Irish history that any book would fall short in the detail and analysis as in the case of this book. From pagan Celts to the 2008 global depression, this book takes you through the highs and lows of a storied people. I have to admit, there were a lot of lows...but that is just how it was. This book is the companion to the BBC documentary mini-series Neil Hegarty created. It was a quick read (I read according to class assignments, so it took longer to read than if I was to read on my own); I think this stems from Mr. Hegarty's background in English literature and journalism. For the history buff, this is a great jumping off point to discover Irish history. For historians, the lack of detail, insight, and analysis was frustrating at times. 3/5 stars.