ONLINE CLASS: Modern Irish History - We Don't Know Ourselves (2433)

Four Fridays: February 2, 9, 16, 23 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. ET Online

$140 Per Person (10% off for Members)

Join us as we read selections from Fintan O'Toole's We Don't Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland, over four consecutive Friday evenings, beginning appropriately on James Joyce’s birthday on February 2, 2024. In this latest of his 19 books, Fintan O’Toole writes with wit, indignation, insight, and pathos about Ireland since his own birth in 1958. Combining autobiography, journalism, and critical analysis, he traces the forces that have shaped his life and his country’s struggles. As a journalist he often found himself with a front-row view of history in the making. As a participant he sometimes found himself onstage. The compassion and critical acumen that he brought to his drama reviews he also casts upon the theatrics of public life and the lived lives behind the pieties. O’Toole quotes Synge’s Playboy: “There’s a great gap between a gallous story and a dirty deed.”

With humorous tales O’Toole casts a cold eye on a variety of topics: civil wars and partition; sex coming to Ireland with American TV; JFK and Muhammad Ali visiting the homeland; a president kissing the ring of an archbishop (Who was more powerful?); (sub)urban slums; housing estates and ghost estates; UN soldiers in the Congo; Bloody Sunday; abuse of children in industrial schools; mass emigration; masses at Pope's Masses; contraceptive trains from Belfast; priests having children; abortion referendums; corrupt prime ministers; paramilitary tit-for-tat massacres; civil rights and wrongs, hunger strikes and ceasefires, and peace deals; moving statues; the plays of O’Casey, Behan, Beckett, Friel, and Murphy; Riverdance; West Brits, East Americans, and returning Yanks; the collapse of “the Celtic Tiger”; bank bailouts; the first referendum in the world to legalize same-sex marriage; and many other amusing stories and dirty deeds that make a history.

Four Fridays: February 2, 9, 16, 23 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. ET Online

Required Books:

We Don't Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland by Fintan O'Toole (9781324092872)

Christopher Griffin is from "Yeats country" in south Galway. Christopher studied Irish literature at Trinity College and University College in Dublin. He has lectured at the Yeats Summer School in Sligo and in Thoor Ballylee and Coole Park at the Lady Gregory Yeats Autumn Gathering. He taught courses in Irish literature at George Washington University for eight years and at Politics and Prose for over 30 years. He was a lecturer on 22 Smithsonian Journeys. He has reviewed theatre since the 1970s and has written program notes for playbills, including the Abbey.

REFUND POLICY: Please note that we can issue class refunds up until seven (7) days before the first class session.

SKU: 9787000013001
Enter the name of the primary household member listed on the membership

We Don't Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland By Fintan O'Toole Cover Image
ISBN: 9781324092872
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Liveright - February 7th, 2023