We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland

Highbridge Audio. Mar. 2022. 22:11 hrs. ISBN 9781696607452. $29.99. HIST
In 1958, the year O’Toole (The Politics of Pain: Postwar England and the Rise of Nationalism) was born, discouraged government leaders opened Ireland up for foreign investment in an effort to stem the tide of Ireland’s emigrating youth. O’Toole has experienced all of the changes this decision influenced, as well as writing about them as a professional journalist for the Irish Times. He recounts his own experiences whenever applicable, along with the accounts of others navigating their way toward modernity. O’Toole was raised a Catholic in the Republic of Ireland, and his years of reporting gave him a unique perspective on Ireland’s tortured relationship with the Catholic Church and their own Catholic identity, along with the troubles in Northern Ireland.
VERDICT Making every minute of this long book enjoyable, narrator Aidan Kelly’s voice is smooth and clearly Irish, and it carries an air of authority without sounding like a documentary. Kelly’s timing and pacing help listeners comprehend long passages and convoluted stories as if they are being recounted firsthand.
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