Patrick West

The Introspective Nation

The Transformation of Ireland 1900-2000

By

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IT IS TIME that Dr Johnson’s now hackneyed remark, ‘The Irish are a fair people: they never speak well of one another,’ was rephrased for the twenty-first century. Perhaps ‘The Irish are a fair people: they never do anything else but talk about each other’ would be appropriate. The ‘Irish Studies’ industry, once suspected of being a fad of the 1990s, shows no signs of decline. Intellectual introspection, bordering on narcissism, remains the principal national pastime of this people.

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