"These pages crackle with ideas and ideals as crisply as though Shaw had just written them."-- Brooks Atkinson, New York Times
"Typical Shaw, which is to say that it is shrewd, searching, provocative and pithy--and also at times exasperating and flamboyant."-- New York Herald Tribune
"Common sense is what he brings to his comments on Ireland, mixed with the familiar Shavian turn of phrase that on closer look becomes an idea overturned, the wit that shares space with sledgehammer irony."--New Republic
"Erratic but brilliant writings on [Shaw's] native country."--Declan Kibbard, University of Dublin
With the addition of thirteen previously uncollected pieces, this new volume of Bernard Shaw's political journalism presents the most complete book in existence of Shaw's writing on Ireland and its political troubles.
Throughout his long life, Shaw's native land occupied his attention. As he explains, he spent only 20 of his more than 90 years in Ireland, but those 20 came first and left an indelible mark upon him. Representing a 60-year period beginning in 1886, these selections include essays, newspaper and magazine articles, letters to the editor, interviews, and passages from books.
First collected and compiled in 1962 by these two eminent scholars of Irish literature, the pieces were hailed for their prophetic intelligence and the book was described by the Cork Examiner as "the reference for future 'examiners' of Ireland's problems." The Washington Post called it a "searching history," presented with "the incisiveness of a contemporary and the timelessness of a prophet." Today, Shaw's opinions and predictions not only illuminate the past but also explain many of the intractable problems of the present.
Dan H. Laurence, literary and dramatic adviser to the Estate of Bernard Shaw from 1973 to 1990, is Shaw's official bibliographer. He is the editor of Collected Letters of Bernard Shaw (4 volumes), general editor of Bernard Shaw: Early Texts, Play Manuscripts in Facsimile (16 volumes), and coauthor with Leon Edel of A Bibliography of Henry James. He has been a professor of English and drama at a number of universities, including New York University.
David H. Greene, New York University retired professor emeritus, is the author of J. M. Synge: 1871-1909, An Anthology of Irish Literature and 1000 Years of Irish Prose: The Literary Revival.