Conor Cruise O’Brien (1917–2009) was an Irish historian and politician. He was elected to the Irish parliament in 1969 and served as a Minister from 1973 until 1977. His works include States of Ireland, The Great Melody and Memoir: My Life and Themes.

IN THE REVIEW

Buried Lives

The Oxford History of the British Empire, Volume I: The Origins of Empire: British Overseas Enterprise to the Close of the Seventeenth Century

by William Roger Louis editor-in-chief, edited by Nicholas Canny

The Oxford History of the British Empire, Volume II: The Eighteenth Century

by William Roger Louis editor-in-chief, edited by P.J. Marshall
It must be said immediately that its first two volumes get The Oxford History of the British Empire off to a strong start. Both books consist of essays that break much new ground and do so with a confidence based on extensive research and with refreshing lucidity and frankness. The …

A New Ireland?

There are estimated to be over 40 million Americans of Irish or (in most cases) partly Irish origin. Of these, rather more than half are descended from Irish Protestants. But very few of these think of themselves as Irish. Being white, Protestant, and English-speaking, they were eligible to join the …

Nationalists and Democrats

Nationalism and democracy are qualitatively different and incommensurable. Nationalism is a conglomerate of emotions; democracy is a system of government. If nationalism and democracy are fully compatible in any given case that is a most fortunate circumstance. Not all peoples are so lucky. In defining nationalism as “a conglomerate of …

Paradise Lost

The Crooked Timber of Humanity: Chapters in the History of Ideas

by Isaiah Berlin, edited by Henry Hardy
Everyone interested in the history of ideas owes a great debt not only to Sir Isaiah Berlin himself but also to his editor, Henry Hardy. It was Hardy who brought together a great many important scattered writings of Berlin’s—hitherto scattered, sometimes in obscure places—and published them in the four-volume series …