1st Edition

States of Mind Two Centuries of Anglo-Irish Conflict, 1780-1980

By Oliver MacDonagh Copyright 1983
    162 Pages
    by Routledge

    Originally published in 1983 and slightly revised in 1985, joint winner of the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize, States of Mind is an exploration f the ideas underlying Anglo-Irish conflict over the past two centuries. This is a book about nationalism and colonialism and above all about political ideology. The ideology is popular, to be inferred from behaviour rather than found in treatises. Often it was, and is, expressed in images and slogans. The resultant cross-purposes and double meanings, ambiguity and dualism are characteristic of cultural collision and accommodation generally. This book throws light upon a very wide range of modern history, and not just upon the relations of one particular metropolitan power and its dependency.  The definition and treatment of the subject, as well as the conclusions, are strikingly novel.

    1.Time 2. Place 3. Property 4. Politics Pacific 5. Politics Bellicose 6. Politics Clerical 7. The Politics of Gaelic 8. England’s Opportunism, Ireland’s Difficulty.


    Oliver MacDonagh (1924-2002) was renowned as a scholar in modern British and Irish history. He became Foundation Professor and Chairman at the newly founded Flinders University in Australia. Atter a return to Ireland as Professor of Modern History at Cork, he was appointed W.K. Hancock Professor of History at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Australian National University. He wrote books on Irish emigration, Irish political history, 18th century administration and government in Victorian Britain. 

    Original Reviews of States of Mind:

    States of Mind combines imagination, wit, erudition and literary and analytical skills of the highest order.  On the MacDonagh level--admittedly reached by few--history is an art as well as a science" Dervia Murphy.

    ‘It is quite simply a masterpiece’. The Economist

    ‘This brilliantly glancing study…Most books three times as long do not give cause for half as much thought.’ Roy Foster, Observer.