Bringing her original insights into theory and philosophy to bear upon the controversial question of revision in Irish history, Evi Gkotzaridis presents the first historical and theoretical examination of the trailblazer historians who, from 1938, spearheaded an unpoliticized Irish history.
Drawing on hitherto unused archives, Trials of Irish History shows how the venture to disenthrall Irish and European history from official propagandas proved stimulating and challenging, but perilous.
Providing a new and stimulating conceptual framework for the study of Irish historiography, the book combines a theoretical approach with close analysis of important case studies and includes:
* an incisive restaging of the passionate joust that took place between revisionists and traditionalists in the shadow of the Troubles
* examination of the cultural contradiction of the first decades of independence, the estrangement of two regimes and the devastation of the Second World War
* comparison of the Irish Kulturkampf to similar discussions in German and France in order to identify and examine the arguments propounded on each side.
Prising open conflicting intellectual notions about the function of history in a divided society, this will be an informative and stimulating addition to the study of Irish history.
'This is a remarkable book, underpinned by a remarkable historical intelligence…the book is compellingly clever and anyone with an interest in Irish history or historiography should read it thoroughly.' – Matthew Kelly, The English Historical Review
Part 1: History and Theory in the Irish Debate : Foes or Allies ? 1. The Intellectual Mood in the 1990s 2. The Revisionist : A New Type of Intellectual Part 2: The Genesis of Modern Historical Scholarship in Ireland 3. Internal Critique : Vicissitudes and Potentials 4. The Loss of History and the New Historians’ Fight against Propaganda on the Irish and Continental 'Front' 5. The Clash between the New Historians and the Bureau of Military History Part 3: The Great Famine: The Crisis of Representation and the Limits of Empirical History 6. Weaknesses in Ethnographic Method 7. Theoretical Underpinnings and their Impact 8. The Claims of Memory and Critique Part 4: Master Narratives: Discarding of Historical Thinking ? 9. The Epistemological and Philosophical Position of Irish Revisionism 10. The Revolution Comes Under Revisionist Scrutiny 11. The Concept of Totalitarianism : Comparison and its Pitfalls 12. Revision, Deconstruction, Semiology : Similar Methods? Part 5: Tensions between Theoretical Intuition and Empirical Reflex 13. Relativism and its Opponents 14. The Problematic of Ends and Means 15. Grappling with the Problem of Objectivity Bibliography Index