Revolutionary; statesman; polymath: Frank Aiken cuts a colossal figure in twentieth century Irish history. However, he remains a controversial figure—regarded as a war criminal by some and a principled proponent of National liberation by others.
In this engaging biographical collection, contributors scrutinise Aiken’s thoughts and actions at several critical junctures in modern Irish and world history, taking readers through the War of Independence, Civil War, the birth of the new state, the Second World War, the Cold War and the modern Northern Ireland Troubles. Divided into two sections – Nationalist and Internationalist – and based on an unrivalled breadth of testimony from academics, family members, rivals and colleagues, this study ultimately details the footprints Aiken left on the national and international political stage
Aiken owed his early eminence to military rather than political leadership; he was commandant of the 4th Northern Division of the IRA during the War of Independence and was driven to undertake the most daring and spectacular feats of the Irish Civil War. He went on to become the Chief of Staff of the Anti-Treaty IRA but was expelled for backing de Valera’s plan for a Republican government – the beginnings of Fianna Fáil. Thereafter his instrumental role was to be political: a Minister for Defence, Finance, and External Affairs over the course of the following decades; he was to oversee much success and controversy in the burgeoning state. This biography represents the first deserving assessment of a monumental personality in 20th century Irish History.
The product has been added to your shopping cart.