Between Two Hells: The Irish Civil War

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In December 1921, Sinn Féin negotiators signed a compromise treaty with the British government which created the Irish Free State, a self-governing dominion, for the twenty-six counties of southern Ireland. Within months, Ireland erupted into a devastating civil war. Although its death toll suggests a conflict less severe than other European civil wars, it had a harrowing impact on the small island, including public rows and recriminations and deep, often private, traumas. The long shadow it cast, socially, economically and politically, endured. It was only in 2020 that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, the two parties which grew out of the rival factions, could see their way to officially sharing power. Drawing on previously unpublished sources and newly released archival material, one of Ireland's most renowned historians lays bare the course and impact of the war, the lives it cost, the reputations it forged, and the fate of its survivors and how this tragedy shaped modern Ireland.