ABOUT THIS BOOK
The Easter Rising of 1916, in which just over a thousand Irish rebels seized key locations in Dublin and proclaimed the independence of the Irish Republic before being brutally suppressed by the vastly larger and better-equipped British Army, is an event whose meaning remains contested to this day. For some it represents a blood sacrifice without the hope—or even the intention—of success. For others, it was the first act in a tumultuous political drama played out in Dublin streets and London cabinet rooms that led to the eventual formation of an independent Irish state.
In 1916, Kieran Allen argues that this pivotal moment in Irish history has been obscured by those who see it only as a prelude for a war of independence. Emphasizing an often ignored social and political radicalism at the heart of the rebellion, he shows that it gave birth to a revolutionary tradition that continues to haunt the Irish elite. Socialist aspirations mixed, and sometimes clashed, with the republican current, but both were crushed in a counterrevolution that accompanied the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921. The result today is a partitioned Ireland that acts as a neoliberal tax haven for multinational corporations—a state of affairs quite alien to both Connolly’s and Pearse’s vision.
Published to coincide with the Rising’s centennial, 1916: Ireland’s Revolutionary Tradition re-establishes the political role of socialist republican figures, offers a highly accessible history of the Easter Rising, and explores the militancy and radicalism that continues to haunt the Irish elite one hundred years later.