Christmas Preview 2010 | Biography, Autobiography & Memoir

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The Best Of Irish Biography, Autobiography

& Memoir Titles For Christmas 2010

It is a year of surprising heavyweight history biographies this year and Gill & Macmillan offers the best of them. Already released and attracting considerable news attention is David McCullagh’s The Reluctant Taoiseach: A Biography of John A. Costello. The Fine Gael Taoisigh have been somewhat under studied to my mind and recent titles have only just started to address this. It is nice in the context of under-studied Irish figures that Gill & Macmillan are also releasing Patrick Geoghegan’s Liberator: The Life and Death of Daniel O’Connell, 1830-1847, the second volume of his two-volume life of one of Ireland’s greatest Irish politicians. The author, a broadcaster as well as a professional historian, makes a passionate and convincing case for O’Connell’s continued relevance and importance even into his final years.

For under appreciated to romantically lionized, Joost Augusteijn’s Patrick Pearse: The Making of a Revolutionary, from Palgrave Macmillan is sure to get some attention, especially if it lives up to the publishers billing of offering a new and comprehensive overview of Pearse.

On a more modern slant, John Lonergan a former Governor of Mountjoy offers and fresh and open look at his life in the Irish prison service, in The Governor published by Penguin Ireland. He is unstinting in his criticism of the system he worked for over 40 years and despite some serious events in his time remains a compassionate and interesting observer of human failings.

Equally modern and offering a fascinating insight into Ireland’s celtic tiger years is The Dubliner Diaries by Trevor White published by Lilliput Press.

O’Brien Press has a brace of interesting titles for the christmas, the first touches on modern culture, Our Joe: Joe Dolan by the People who Knew him Best by Eddie Rowley a collection of anecdotes and stories about Joe Dolan. The second is another historical gem, Terence MacSwiney: The Hunger Strike that Rocked an Empire by Dave Hannigan who brought us the excellent, De Valera in America: The Rebel President’s 1919 Campaign.

Modern but with an internationalist bent is Liberties Press’ The Things I’ve Seen: Nine Lives of a Foreign Correspondent by Irish Times journalist Lara Marlowe, quite a coup for a small house. It marks a trio of fine titles from this plucky publisher too, the second of which is Just Garret: Tales From The Political Front line by former Taoiseach, Garret Fitzgerald and the third Leading Lights: The People Who’ve Inspired Me, by current labour leader and most popular politician in the country, Eamon Gilmore.

One final title warrants attention and that is The Liffey Press’ title, The Lives and Times of the Presidents of Ireland by Kevin Kenna.

The Books

The Reluctant Taoiseach: A Biography of John A. Costello| David McCullagh
HB | €27.99 | Gill & Macmillan | 9780717146468
Liberator: The Life and Death of Daniel O’Connell, 1830-1847 | Patrick Geoghegan
HB | €24.99 | Gill & Macmillan | 9780717146659
Patrick Pearse: The Making of a Revolutionary | Joost Augusteijn
PB | €21.99 | Pagrave Macmillan | 9780230277656
The Governor | John Lonergan
PB | €16.99 | Penguin Ireland | 9781844882403
The Dubliner Diaries | Trevor White
PB | €9.99 | The Lilliput Press | 9781843511809
Our Joe | Eddie Rowley
PB | €16.99 | The O’Brien Press | 9781847172198
Terence MacSwiney: The Hunger Strike that Rocked an Empire | Dave Hannigan
PB | €14.99 | The O’Brien Press | 9781847171825
The Things I’ve Seen: Nine Lives of a Foreign Correspondent | Lara Marlowe
PB | €17.99 | 9781907593048
Just Garret: Tales from the Political Front Line | Garret Fitzgerald
HB | €30.00 |
Leading Lights: The People Who’ve Inspired Me | Eamon Gilmore
HB | €30.00 | Liberties Press | 9781905483396
The Lives and Times of the Presidents of Ireland | Kevin kenna
PB | €18.95 | The Liffey Press | 9781905785841