Book Reviewer

BB AND BoCSean Duffy, Gill & MacMillan, 2014

Duffy’s book coincides with the millennium anniversary of Ireland’s most famous battle, fought in the spring of 1014. While the details of the battle remain sketchy, Duffy does an excellent job of presenting a realistic and believable account.

Drawing from a broad range of ancient sources from Ireland as well as from contemporary accounts from Iceland, Scandinavia, Britain and France, Duffy takes us from Boru’s early life all the way to Good Friday, April 23rd, 1014.

With a keen and critical eye, Duffy evaluates the reliability of each source, an approach which renders his account all the more acceptable.

The book is well written, based on deep and penetrating research and is a valuable account, not just of the battle, but also of political life in the Ireland of Brian Boru.


white warMark Thompson, Faber & Faber, 2009

The White War describes a facet of the First World War which has, to date, received scant attention, the Italian-Austrian front.

Based on individual recollections, first hand accounts, diaries and official records, the book describes, in fascinating and shocking detail and mainly from an Italian perspective, the conditions experienced by the common soldier, the indescribable slaughter, the utter waste of human life as well as the unforgivable incompetence of military and political authorities.

It is a deeply moving book which, once again, underlines the barbarity of the conflict. It also covers Italian social , political and economic history of the time exposing the fractious nature of North-South relations.