Munich – Robert Harris

Robert HarrisRobert Harris in conversation with James Holland

September 1938. Hitler is determined to start a war. Chamberlain is desperate to preserve the peace. The issue is to be decided in a city that will forever afterwards be notorious for what takes place there – Munich. Robert Harris’s new spy thriller, set over the four days of the 1938 Munich Conference, confirms him as the pre-eminent historical novelist of our time.

Robert Harris is the author of eleven best-selling novels including the Cicero Trilogy, Fatherland, and An Officer and a Spy, which won four prizes including the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction.

James Holland is a writer, broadcaster and Second World War historian.

Recorded at The Printworks at Dublin Castle on 29 September 2017.


War and the Death of News

Martin Bell

Martin Bell in conversation with Keelin Shanley

In an age of international terror, where journalists themselves have become targets, more and more reports are issued from the sidelines. The dominance of social media has ushered in a post-truth world: Twitter rumours and unverifiable videos abound, and TV news seeks to entertain rather than inform.
In this compelling account, one of the outstanding journalists of our time provides a moving, personal account of war and issues an impassioned call to put the substance back in our news.

Martin Bell is both a former BBC war correspondent and a former Westminster MP. His previous books include Through the Gates of Fire and An Accidental MP.

Keelin Shanley is a journalist and presenter on RTE radio and television.

Recorded at The Printworks at Dublin Castle on 29 September 2017.


The Russian Revolution Debate

The sheer apocalyptic scale of the Russian Revolution seems almost to defy comprehension. What began as a challenge to the decadence and complacency of the Romanov dynasty ended up in the slaughter and immiseration an entire people.

History has consigned the revolution to the tomb and celebrated its death but what, if anything, remains of the elevated goals and ideals which inspired it? Was the poison of Stalinism in Bolshevism from the beginning?

Can it teach us anything one hundred years on and if so what? Our panel of experts examine these and other questions.

Geoffrey Roberts is Professor of History at University College Cork. He has written widely on Russian history.
Maria Falina is a DCU historian of modern and contemporary Europe specialising in Eastern Europe.
David Aaronovitch is a Times of London columnist, broadcaster, and author. His most recent book is Party Animals: My Family and Other Communists.
Judith Devlin  is Professor of History at University College Dublin.
Hugh Linehan is Culture Editor of The Irish Times.

Recorded at Printworks, Dublin Castle on 29 September 2017.


A City Divided: Dublin in the Civil War

Ferguson RaidIn 1922-23, over 200 people were killed and 3,500 imprisoned in Dublin as rival pro and anti-Treaty factions of the nationalist movement came to blows. John Dorney will talk about urban guerrilla warfare, prisons, executions and assassination during this tumultuous period.

Image: Ferguson Raid, from ‘Ireland’s Tragic Week’ a special supplement to the Irish Life newspaper, published on 14 July 1922

John Dorney is a historian and editor of the Irish Story website. His forthcoming book on the Irish Civil War in Dublin will be published by Merrion Press in 2017.

Recorded at Inchicore Library on 5 October 2016.


The other Connolly of 1916: Seán Connolly

Sean ConnollySeán Connolly was in command of the City Hall garrison on Easter Monday 1916. Hear the story of this Dublin Corporation employee, Irish Citizen Army captain and the first rebel to die in the Rising.

Donal Fallon is a historian with a particular interest in the history of Dublin. He is one of the founders and contributors to the “Come Here To Me” blog and has published widely on Irish history.

Recorded at Drumcondra Library on 29 September 2016.


The ’emergence’ of children and childhood in modern history

childrenOur modern conception of childhood as a time of education and innocence began to emerge in the eighteenth century, but it wasn’t until the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that such ideas influenced the lives of children of all classes in the western world.  How and why did this happen?

Marnie Hay is a historian and the author of Bulmer Hobson and the Nationalist Movement in Twentieth-Century Ireland (2009). Her current research relates to the history of Irish nationalist children and youth in the early twentieth century

Recorded at Terenure Library on 26 September 2016.


Richard O’Carroll: Labour and 1916

Richard O'CarrollRichard O’Carroll was a trade unionist and Labour Party councillor on Dublin Corporation, first elected in 1907. He was killed by Captain Bowen-Colthurst during the 1916 Rising and was the only elected member of Dublin City Council to be killed while on active service during the Rising.

Brian Hanley holds a PhD from Trinity College Dublin and has taught and  published widely on twentieth-century Irish history.

Recorded at Finglas Library on 26 September 2016.


Furnace of Futility: The Enigma of World War I

Somme &  Too Important for the GeneralsAllan Mallinson & Hugh Sebag-Montefiore in conversation with Jennifer Wellington
Historical debate about World War I now boils down to views: the “Blackadder”, Lions-led-by-Donkeys view of senseless carnage orchestrated by blimpish generals; or the view that the generals have been much maligned and actually achieved a stunning victory despite the enormous human cost. Here, in the Centenary year of The Somme, two eminent military historians offer their interpretations of the “war to end all wars”

Hugh Sebag-Montefiore is a journalist and historian. His best-selling books include Enigma: The Battle for the Code and Dunkirk: Fight to the Last Man. Published on the centenary of the battle, his new book, Somme: Into the Breach, has received unanimously laudatory reviews.
Allan Mallinson is a former infantry and cavalry officer. He is the author of the Matthew Hervey series of novels and writes on defence matters for The Times and the Daily Telegraph. His latest offering, Too Important for the Generals, has been praised as powerfully-argued and polemical in its analysis of WW1.
Dr Jennifer Wellington is a lecturer in modern global history at UCD.

Recorded at Printworks, Dublin Castle on 25 September 2016.


Blood and Sand: Suez, Hungary and the Crisis That Shook the World

Alex Von TunzelmannAlex Von Tunzelmann in conversation with Dr Balázs Apor
Blood and Sand is essential to our understanding of the modern Middle East, and the problems of oil, religious fundamentalism and international unity that still face the world today. It is a tale of conspiracy and revolutions, spies and terrorists, kidnappings and assassination plots, the fall of the British Empire and the rise of American hegemony. The fascinating cast of characters includes Nasser, Anthony Eden, Eisenhower, Khrushchev and Ben-Gurion.

Alex von Tunzelmann is the author of Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End; Red Heat and most recently Blood and Sand. She also writes Reel History, a weekly column about historical movies for The Guardian Film Online.
Dr Balázs Apor is Assistant Professor in the Centre for European Studies at Trinity College Dublin.

Recorded at Printworks, Dublin Castle on 25 September 2016.


Ireland: The Autobiography: Eyewitness Accounts of Irish Life since 1916

John BowmanJohn Bowman in conversation with Patrick Geoghegan
Ireland: The Autobiography offers a fresh, vivid take on the last century of Irish life through a brilliant collection of eyewitness accounts and recollections. Broadcaster and historian John Bowman has spent years mining archives, diaries and memoirs to create a remarkably varied and intense mosaic of voices and perspectives. Collectively, they give us an image of Ireland unlike anything we’ve read before.

Dr John Bowman is a historian and broadcaster. Ireland: The Autobiography: Eyewitness accounts of Irish Life since 1916 is his third book.
Patrick Geoghegan is Professor of Modern History at Trinity College Dublin.

Recorded at Printworks, Dublin Castle on 25 September 2016.


Stalin’s Personal Library

Geoffrey RobertsGeoffrey Roberts in conversation with Judith Devlin
Joseph Stalin was a voracious reader. Mostly he read government documents and the revolutionary classics but he also read Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Gogol, Chekhov, Shakespeare, Cervantes and Balzac. By the time he died his library contained some 20,000 volumes. The books in Stalin’s personal library provide vital clues to what motivated his thoughts and actions. Geoffrey Roberts discusses the intellectual range behind the legendary monster.
Geoffrey Roberts is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a member of the Royal Irish Academy and Professor of History and International Relations at University College Cork.
Judith Devlin is a senior lecturer in the School of History, UCD.
Recorded at Printworks, Dublin Castle on 25 September 2016.


Hillsborough: The Truth

Phil Scraton and Adrian Tempany in conversation with Paul Howard
On 15th April 1989, 96 men, women and children who attended an FA Cup match in Sheffield never came home. Victims of criminal negligence and complacency, they died needlessly and what followed would compound the agony of their loved ones for decades. In April 2016, an inquest jury finally ruled that the victims were unlawfully killed. Hillsborough illustrated how the interests of ordinary people are marginalised when those in authority sacrifice truth and accountability to protect their reputations.
Phil Scraton is a criminologist, academic and author known particularly for his investigative workinto the Hillsborough disaster. He is Professor of Criminology in the School of Law at Queen’s University Belfast.
Adrian Tempany is a journalist, Hillsborough survivor and campaigner. He is the author of And the Sun Shines Now: How Hillsborough and the Premier League Changed Britain.
Paul Howard is a former sportswriter best known for his fictional creation, Ross O’Carroll-Kelly. Paul is a lifelong Liverpool supporter.
Recorded at Printworks, Dublin Castle on 24 September 2016.


The Cultural Revolution 1962-1976

Frank Dikotter (c) Wilco van DijenFrank Dikötter in conversation with Isabella Jackson
After the economic disaster of the Great Leap Forward, Chairman Mao launched an ambitious scheme to shore up his reputation and eliminate his enemies. The stated goal of the Cultural Revolution was to purge China of bourgeois, capitalist elements by subjecting them to public humiliation, imprisonment and torture. This third volume in Frank Dikötter’s ground-breaking ‘People’s Trilogy’ is a devastating reassessment of the history of the People’s Republic of China.

Frank Dikötter is a Dutch historian and the author of ten books that have changed the way historians view modern China. He has been Chair Professor of Humanities at the University of Hong Kong since 2006.
Dr Isabella Jackson is Assistant Professor in Chinese History at Trinity College Dublin.
Recorded at Printworks, Dublin Castle on 24 September 2016.


The Devils’ Alliance: Hitler’s pact with Stalin, 1939-1941

Roger Moorhouse Roger Moorhouse in conversation with Robert Gerwarth.
For nearly two years the two most infamous dictators in history actively collaborated with one another. The Nazi-Soviet Pact stunned the world. WWII was launched under its auspices and its eventual collapse led to the war’s defining and deciding clash. In The Devils’ Alliance Roger Moorhouse tells the full story for the first time, from the motivation for its inception to its dramatic end in 1941 as Germany declared war against its former parter.

Roger Moorhouse is an English historian and the author of three critically-acclaimed books: Killing Hitler; Berlin at War; and most recently The Devils’ Alliance, a fascinating study of the Nazi-Soviet Pact.
Robert Gerwarth is Professor of Modern History at UCD and Director of its Centre for War Studies. He is the author of The Bismarck Myth and Hitler’s Hangman: the Life of Heydrich.

Recorded at Printworks, Dublin Castle on 24 September 2016.