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Best Irish History Books: The Ultimate List

Here is a list of the best Irish History books, some I have read myself, some that I did research on, and all have great reviews!

1. The Course of Irish History (2012)

Best Irish History Books: The Ultimate ListFirst published over forty years ago and now updated to cover the “Celtic Tiger” economic boom of the 2000s and subsequent worldwide recession, this new edition of a perennial bestseller interprets Irish history as a whole. Designed and written to be popular and authoritative, critical and balanced, it has been a core text in both Irish and American universities for decades. It has also proven to be an extremely popular book for casual readers with an interest in history and Irish affairs. Considered the definitive history among the Irish themselves, it is an essential text for anyone interested in the…
Author(s): T. W. Moody, F. X. Martin, et al.

2. How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland’s Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe (The Hinges of History) (1996)

Best Irish History Books: The Ultimate ListThe perfect St. Patrick’s Day gift, and a book in the best tradition of popular history — the untold story of Ireland’s role in maintaining Western culture while the Dark Ages settled on Europe.Every year millions of Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but they may not be aware of how great an influence St. Patrick was on the subsequent history of civilization. Not only did he bring Christianity to Ireland, he instilled a sense of literacy and learning that would create the conditions that allowed Ireland to become "the isle of saints and scholars" — and thus preserve Western culture while…
Author(s): Thomas Cahill

3. The Family Tree Irish Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Ancestors in Ireland (2017)

Best Irish History Books: The Ultimate ListDiscover your Irish roots! Trace your Irish ancestors from American shores back to the Emerald Isle. This in-depth guide from Irish genealogy expert Claire Santry will take you step-by-step through the exciting–and challenging–journey of discovering your Irish roots. You'll learn how to identify immigrant ancestor, find your family's county and townland of origin, and locate key genealogical resources that will breathe life into your family tree. With historical timelines, sample records, resource lists, and detailed information about where and how to find your ancestors online, this guide has everything you need to…
Author(s): Claire Santry

4. In Search of Ancient Ireland: The Origins of the Irish from Neolithic Times to the Coming of the English (2003)

Best Irish History Books: The Ultimate ListThis engaging book traces the history, archaeology, and legends of ancient Ireland from 9000 B.C., when nomadic hunter-gatherers appeared in Ireland at the end of the last Ice Age to 1167 A.D., when a Norman invasion brought the country under control of the English crown for the first time. So much of what people today accept as ancient Irish history—Celtic invaders from Europe turning Ireland into a Celtic nation; St. Patrick driving the snakes from Ireland and converting its people to Christianity—is myth and legend with little basis in…
Author(s): Carmel McCaffrey, Leo Eaton

5. White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain’s White Slaves in America (2008)

Best Irish History Books: The Ultimate ListIn the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, more than 300,000 white people were shipped to America as slaves. Urchins were swept up from London’s streets to labor in the tobacco fields, where life expectancy was no more than two years. Brothels were raided to provide “breeders” for Virginia. Hopeful migrants were duped into signing as indentured servants, unaware they would become personal property who could be bought, sold, and even gambled away. Transported convicts were paraded for sale like livestock.Drawing on letters crying for help, diaries, and court and government archives, Don Jordan and Michael Walsh demonstrate…
Author(s): Don Jordan, Michael Walsh

6. Malachy McCourt’s History of Ireland (paperback) (2008)

Best Irish History Books: The Ultimate ListThe pages are populated with figures from myth, history, and the present-from Saint Patrick to Oliver Cromwell, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, and Charles Parnell to Sinead O’Connor and Bono. Some beloved, some controversial-each influenced the course of Irish and world history. While McCourt vividly describes Ireland’s turbulent history, he also offers a cultural survey with fresh insights to the folklore, literature, art, music, and cuisine of Ireland, producing an irresistible tour through the Emerald Isle….
Author(s): Malachy McCourt

8. Irish History: A Concise Overview of the History of Ireland From Start to End (2019)

Best Irish History Books: The Ultimate ListExplore the History of Ireland From Start to End… Ireland, more than any other country, seems to hold people from other parts of the world in awe. Its people, landscape, culture and misfortunes have provided writers and poets with endless inspiration and its history is no less colorful and exciting.In this book, , you can find out much more about what has happened to Ireland through the ages, with chapters on: The Ireland of today has been shaped by the past and its history has provided some of the major flashpoints in the wider scope of the British Isles and Europe…And with…
Author(s): Eric Brown

9. The Great Book of Ireland: Interesting Stories, Irish History & Random Facts About Ireland (History & Fun Facts) (2019)

Best Irish History Books: The Ultimate ListHow much do you know about Ireland? There’s so much to learn about the Emerald Isle that even its residents don’t know. In this trivia book, you’ll learn more about Ireland’s history, pop culture, folklore, and so much more! And so much more! This book is packed with trivia facts about Ireland. Some of the facts you’ll learn in this book are shocking, some are tragic, and others will leave you with goosebumps. But they’re all interesting! Whether you’re just learning about Ireland or you already think you’re an expert on the state, you’ll learn something you didn’t know in…
Author(s): Bill O’Neill

10. A Brief History of Ireland (Brief History (Running Press)) (2012)

Best Irish History Books: The Ultimate ListSince its very origins, Ireland has become the home for a successive series of invaders-the Celts, Christians, Vikings, and Normans. And despite deprivation, desperation, and suppression, Ireland has developed an unwavering sense of purpose and place.In this lucid and fascinating introduction to the island’s story, Richard Killeen separates the history from the myths. Ranging from Ireland’s pre-Gaelic origins to the present day, it emphasizes the island’s uniqueness as well as it close ties to English and European culture. The tangled and often violent relationship between Ireland and the…
Author(s): Richard Killeen

A “powerful and aggravating absence of consensus” came to define the Irish political experience, says the historian Richard Bourke. Here he picks the best books for gaining a range of perspectives on Irish history, singling out James Joyce as offering insight into the divergence of nationalist opinion. Marianne Elliott is director of the Institute of Irish Studies at Liverpool University and author of Catholics of Ulster: a History and Wolfe Tone: Prophet of Irish Independence, which won the BOOKS.IE is an Irish based online bookstore offering a wide diverse range of books, new releases, bestsellers, bargains and rare books, with worldwide delivery. “On St. Patrick’s Day, the traditional Irish family would rise early and find a solitary sprig of shamrock to put on their somber Sunday best. Then they’d spend the morning in church listening to sermons about how thankful they should be that St. Patrick saved such a bunch of ungrateful sinners.

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some irish history books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

The Irish Abortion Journey, 1920–2018

Author(s): Lindsey Earner-Byrne, Diane Urquhart
Publisher: Springer International Publishing;Palgrave Pivot, Year: 2019, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2354316

The Irish Medical Profession and the First World War

Author(s): David Durnin
Publisher: Springer International Publishing; Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2019, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2408219

Drafting the Irish Constitution, 1935–1937

Author(s): Donal K. Coffey
Publisher: Springer International Publishing;Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2018, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2250747

A New History of the Irish in Australia

Author(s): Elizabeth Malcolm; Dianne Hall
Publisher: NewSouth, Year: 2018, Size: 16 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2290190

Constructions of the Irish Child in the Independence Period, 1910-1940

Author(s): Ciara Boylan, Ciara Gallagher
Publisher: Springer International Publishing;Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2018, Size: 5 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2310946

Higher Education in Ireland, 1922–2016: Politics, Policy and Power—A History of Higher Education in the Irish State

Author(s): John Walsh
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan UK, Year: 2018, Size: 6 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2314124

Amnesia and the Nation: History, Forgetting, and James Joyce

Author(s): Vincent J. Cheng
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2018, Size: 2 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2339927

Emotion in the Tudor Court: Literature, History, and Early Modern Feeling

Author(s): Bradley J. Irish
Publisher: Northwestern University Press, Year: 2018, Size: 2 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2389029

Party Politics in a New Democracy: The Irish Free State, 1922–37

Author(s): Mel Farrell
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2017, Size: 5 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2179260

Famine Irish and the American Racial State

Author(s): Peter D. O’Neill
Publisher: Routledge, Year: 2017, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2184991

Please note that this booklist is not absolute. Some books are truly best-sellers according to The New York Times, others are composed by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant resources you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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