Bob Cannon
September 24, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

History of Ireland

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Malachy McCourt
publisher
Running Press
genre
Nonfiction, History

We gave it an A-

Do we really need another history of the Emerald Isle? Yes, if it’s as entertaining as this one. Actor/author Malachy McCourt boasts a brisk style that manages to educate without descending into stuffy academia. Sure, you’ve got the Norman invasion, the endless British oppression, and 1972’s notorious Bloody Sunday, but what sets McCourt’s version apart are his mini-biographies of famous Irishmen from St. Patrick to republican martyr James Connolly, poet William Butler Yeats to prime minister Bertie Ahern — right down to Bono (who we’re told took his nickname from a brand of hearing aids). In short, History of Ireland reads like it’s coming from the fellow sipping a pint on the next bar stool.

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