James Heartfield talks about his book on Irish revolutionariesOne hundred years ago, Easter 1916, Irish revolutionaries rose against the British Empire proclaiming a Republic from the steps of the General Post Office in Dublin. The men and women of the Easter Rising were defeated by the overwhelming force of the British Army, in five days of intense fighting. Their leaders were executed. But the Easter Rising lit a fire that ended with the whole country turning against Westminster’s rule, and founding a nation.
Today, the heirs to the Irish state are embarrassed about 1916. They are ashamed that their state owes its origins to a revolution. Along with academics and other commentators in the press and on television they dismiss the Rising as the work of violent fanatics, and the defeat of constitutional politics.
Who’s Afraid Of The Easter Rising? explains why today’s Dublin elite are recoiling from the origins of their state in a popular struggle.
The Easter Rising was an inspiration to those who were challenging the Empires of Europe, from India to Vietnam, from New Zealand to Moscow; it was an inspiration to British activists like John Maclean and Sylvia Pankhurst; and it was an inspiration to the Irish men and women who rose up against British rule to free their nation.
James Heartfield has worked as a journalist, for a television company, as a lecturer and as an editor. He wrote The Death Of The Subject Explained and The Aborigines' Protection Society. James lives in North London with his wife and two daughters.
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