Review and Analysis of The Rising: Ireland - Easter 1916
Fearghal McGarry begins his new book The Rising - Easter 1916 by recapping the story of what essentially began the rebellion; thirty members of the Irish Citizens Army armed to the teeth walk right up to Dublin Castle and shoot an unarmed police officer in the head at point blank range. They continue into the castle, which despite being "the heart of British establishment in Ireland" Ã¯Â¿Â½ was only defended by a single pistol, and could have taken it easily according to several accounts. But they didn't, possibly scared off by the "loud bang of a slammed door" Ã¯Â¿Â½, and in this one event McGarry argues set a very apt scene for the week which would follow. Indeed throughout his book McGarry uses recently released first hand accounts collected by the Bureau of Military History in Ireland and tries to paint a complete picture of the events leading up to, encompassing, and following the Easter Rebellion which in the years since has been glamorized in the minds of many Irish.
But McGarry often focuses his book specifically on the less viewed aspects of the rebellion such the common ineptitude of the Irish rebels, the initial lack of response by the British, the mental wear on those who didn't even see any fighting. His book also presents several interesting questions which can't be entirely answered, the most prominent being the suggestion that the entire rebellion may have just been a symbolic event which the leaders knew would fail.
McGarry writes The Rising in chronological fashion, beginning with some accounts of what led up to the rebellion itself. One of the most interesting points within this part of the book is the details of the Irish recruitment. In one quote a...