The News From Ireland - jacket

The News From Ireland

The Anglo-Irish war of 1919-1921 was an international historical landmark: the first successful revolution against British rule and the beginning of the end of the Empire.

However, the Irish revolutionaries did not win their struggle on the battlefield - their key victory was in mobilising public opinion in Britain and the rest of the world. Journalists and writers flocked to Ireland, where the increasingly brutal conflict was seen as the crucible for settling some of the key issues of the new world order emerging from the ruins of World War One. On trial was the British Empire’s claim to be the champion of civilisation as well as the principle of self-determination proclaimed by the American president Woodrow Wilson.

The News from Ireland vividly explores the work of British and American correspondents in Ireland as well as other foreign journalists and literary figures. It offers a penetrating and persuasive assessment of the Irish revolution’s place in a key moment of world history as well as the role of the press and journalism in the conflict. This important book is essential reading for anyone interested in Irish history and how our understanding of history generally is shaped by the media.

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Click here to listen to Maurice being interviewed on Talking History on Newstalk FM- October 2008

Praise for The News From Ireland

‘A suggestive, original and elegantly written study...It is also a marvellous portrait of journalists at work, deftly deploying a star cast and providing a thoughtful analysis of the politics of publicity.’

Roy Foster, Times Literary Supplement ‘Books of the Year’

“Maurice Walsh has written a fascinating and thoughtful book. His story of the relationship between journalists and government during a guerrilla war more than 80 years ago is one that few of us know and that has much relevance to understanding the parallel issues during the wars in Vietnam and Iraq.”

Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold’s Ghost

‘Original and wide-ranging...Walsh writes evocatively of the golden age of special correspondents’

Eunan O’Halpin, The Irish Times

‘The News from Ireland fills an important gap in our understanding of the Irish revolutionary period during which the battle for public opinion was essential. It extraordinary insight into how the Irish managed and the British mis-managed the press. The close study of the personalities involved and the intimate knowledge of how foreign correspondents saw their role in the period after the First World War make this an invaluable book.’

Colm Tóibín

'A gem of a book, scholarly, beautifully written and narrated with verve'

David Gardner, Financial Times

'Walsh’s analysis is sophisticated and thought-provoking, and is supported by a wide reading of Irish, American and British newspaper history... The News from Ireland will be read with interest by any scholar of those colonial wars and counter-insurgencies that have occurred in any past or present empire.'

Media History

'Walsh, a distinguished correspondent and scholar, has made a first-rate contribution to the history of ‘the Troubles’, in which journalists are not merely recorders but actors.'

Columbia Journalism Review

'Explores the mind-sets of journalists, editors and politicians with impressive insight. Dr Walsh’s book has implications and insights which will be continually relevant both for journalism and for the conduct of public life in an uncertain and violent age.'

John Horgan, Press Ombudsman, Republic of Ireland, Journalism Practice

'incisive and highly readable'

Clair Wills, History Today

‘The historical detail is rich and engaging, and Walsh's analysis of the journalists' ambivalent relationship to nationalism and the political dynamics of media management in a colonial war is very insightful. An important contribution to journalism history.'

Daniel Hallin, author of The “Uncensored War": The Media and Vietnam

‘A very fine piece of work indeed - tremendously readable and very insightful.'

John Lloyd, Director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Oxford University