SOCIAL SCIENCES

Hitching for Hope: A Journey into the Heart and Soul of Ireland

Chelsea Green. Mar. 2020. 240p. ISBN 9781603589574. pap. $17.95. TRAV
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A well-known Irish social innovator, McKiernan was dealing with burnout and disillusionment in Ireland’s recession causing many of its youth to immigrate to other countries in search of employment. When asked to speak on citizens’ views of Ireland, McKiernan decided to return to his days of teenage hitchhiking and seek the opinions of those he met along the way. So began his quest to put a finger on the pulse of Ireland. Here, he asks those he rides with about the current state of Ireland, what it would take to change it, and where they find hope for the future. Discussing issues from Ireland’s culture and its economic peak before the recession, McKiernan does an admirable job of covering the varying insights and life stories he was told, seeking to remove himself from the equation and represent those whose opinion he sought—listening rather than telling.
VERDICT An uplifting account of McKiernan’s journey and the stories shared with him along the way. Will appeal to lovers of memoirs and patrons who enjoy reading about those who effect and inspire change.

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