This engaging and provocative work consists of 29 chapters and discusses over 50 books that have been instrumental in the development of Irish social and political thought since the early seventeenth century. Steering clear of traditionally canonical Irish literature, Bryan Fanning and Tom Garvin debate the significance of their chosen texts and explore the impact, reception, controversy, debates and arguments that followed publication. Fanning and Garvin present these seminal books in an compelling dialogue with one another, highlighting the manner in which individual writers informed each other’s opinions at the same time as they were being amassed within the public consciousness. From Jonathan Swift’s savage indignation to Flann O’Brien’s disintegrative satire, this book provides a fascinating discussion of how key Irish writers affected the life of their country by upholding or tearing down those matters held close to the heart, identity and habits of the Irish nation.
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