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Audio Podcast - Revisionism, Peter Hart and the History Wars.


cb1979

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Feb 12, 2005
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Episode Eleven of the History Show on Near FM presented by John Dorney and Cathal Brennan. In this episode, John Dorney speaks to Dr. John M. Regan of the University of Dundee about Revisionism, Peter Hart and the History Wars in Ireland.

Near Podcasts » The History Show Episode Eleven

Previous episodes of the History Show are available here:
Near Podcasts » The History Show

The release of Terror in Ireland: 1916 - 1923 by the Trinity History Workshop led to a spat between Dr. John M. Regan and Professor David Fitzpatrick, the editor of the collection, in the pages of History Ireland. Episode Six of the History Show featured an interview with Professor Fitzpatrick about the book. Near Podcasts » The History Show Episode Six
 


LINKS FAHREN

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Thanks, CB 1979. I'll have to have a listen to this.

The latest issue of "History Ireland" had to hold over further volleys in this debate due to lack of space in the printed edition but they did say that they would be available on their website.

I heard Regan speak at a talk in Cork last year and he was very impressive. The attendance was huge and many had to listen in adjoining rooms such was the turnout. His views on Irish historiography are invigorating and he certainly drew the wrath of UCC historians, past and present, on that occasion, although the latter drew the wrath of the majority of the audience in their turn.

History makes us what we are.
 

DaveM

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Episode Eleven of the History Show on Near FM presented by John Dorney and Cathal Brennan. In this episode, John Dorney speaks to Dr. John M. Regan of the University of Dundee about Revisionism, Peter Hart and the History Wars in Ireland.

Near Podcasts » The History Show Episode Eleven

Previous episodes of the History Show are available here:
Near Podcasts » The History Show

The release of Terror in Ireland: 1916 - 1923 by the Trinity History Workshop led to a spat between Dr. John M. Regan and Professor David Fitzpatrick, the editor of the collection, in the pages of History Ireland. Episode Six of the History Show featured an interview with Professor Fitzpatrick about the book. Near Podcasts » The History Show Episode Six
Cheers for the heads up.
 

Hitch 22

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Peter Hart is totally discredited as a historian.
The disappearance and killing of three intelligence officers in Cork did not seem to have any connection to the so-called sectarian masscre in Bandon during the Truce according to Hart. One of the perpetrators of the killings in Cork was an atheist son of a Protestant. Some of the victims of the "massacre" were Catholic rather than exclusively Protestants. So the idea that it was a cold blooded killing of Protestants falls apart. Whether the victims were spies cannot be conclusively proven but the burden is on Hart to prove his case and he doesn't do it.
The fact that IRA leaders including Tom Barry returned to Cork and put a stop to the bloodletting indicates that it was likely a local IRA individuals doing a solo-run and rubbing out people they had suspected of collaboration during the War of Independence. The killings therefore followed the pattern of other conflicts in which there was a settling of old scores for instance in France after WW2 thousands of collaborators were killed.

A similar sectarianism argument was made during the Troubles in Northern Ireland when rural Protestant men were being killed by IRA assassins. Many of these men were in fact members of the UDR and RUC reserve and/or members of the UDA and UVF. As well as being members of the security forces many were also members of the Orange Order and in some cases elected members of Unionists parties. Others were probably completely innocent men. However the religion of these men was selected as the sole reason for their deaths. Without knowing the background facts of victims of the IRA it is not possible to just jump to the conclusion all these deaths were sectarian rather than considering the motivation of politics and military strategy came into it.

Hart and other revisionist historians have an axe to grind and brush aside actual evidence.
Rather like Oliver Stone who claims the mob/anti-Castro Cubans/CIA were involved in killing Kennedy and pinning it on Oswald while rising roughshod over the overwhelming evidence in the Warren Commission that says otherwise and that indicates strongly that Oswald acted alone.

Revisionism does have its place in that is brings to light facts that don't fit into the traditional cosy narrative of good guys v bad guys that partisan propagandists would like us to believe in.

A movie like The Wind That Shakes The Barley that respects the intelligence of the audience and gives a true reflection of the politics of the time is far more useful than Michael Collins which gives a stilted cartoonish version of history and a soft focus portrait of a complex figure who can still be respected without paring away his blemishes.
 
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JohnD66

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Hart rightly comes in for criticism but I'll repeat for the umpteenth time that there's still a lot of good work that he produced. Read some of it first then form your opinion.
 

cb1979

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I heard Regan speak at a talk in Cork last year and he was very impressive. The attendance was huge and many had to listen in adjoining rooms such was the turnout. His views on Irish historiography are invigorating and he certainly drew the wrath of UCC historians, past and present, on that occasion, although the latter drew the wrath of the majority of the audience in their turn.

History makes us what we are.
He wrote a very interesting book called the Irish Counter Revolution 1921 - 1936 which is well worth a read for anyone who hasn't come across it.
 

former wesleyan

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Thanks, CB 1979. I'll have to have a listen to this.

The latest issue of "History Ireland" had to hold over further volleys in this debate due to lack of space in the printed edition but they did say that they would be available on their website.

I heard Regan speak at a talk in Cork last year and he was very impressive. The attendance was huge and many had to listen in adjoining rooms such was the turnout. His views on Irish historiography are invigorating and he certainly drew the wrath of UCC historians, past and present, on that occasion, although the latter drew the wrath of the majority of the audience in their turn.

History makes us what we are.
I was at that. The " wrath " of the audience as you put it consisted of keepers of the flame standing up and denying that any true republican could have soiled his hands with a bit of the ould sectarian cleansing. This despite a copy of the " spy on your protestant neighbour " form being displayed on the backscreen.
 

edifice.

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Episode Eleven of the History Show on Near FM presented by John Dorney and Cathal Brennan. In this episode, John Dorney speaks to Dr. John M. Regan of the University of Dundee about Revisionism, Peter Hart and the History Wars in Ireland.

Near Podcasts » The History Show Episode Eleven

Previous episodes of the History Show are available here:
Near Podcasts » The History Show

The release of Terror in Ireland: 1916 - 1923 by the Trinity History Workshop led to a spat between Dr. John M. Regan and Professor David Fitzpatrick, the editor of the collection, in the pages of History Ireland. Episode Six of the History Show featured an interview with Professor Fitzpatrick about the book. Near Podcasts » The History Show Episode Six
For those still interested in the long running debate over Peter Hart’s methodology, the latest History Ireland (jan-Feb 2013) has a ‘Letters Extra’ section on the web. There are letters from Maureen Deasy (daughter of Liam), Maura O’Donovan (daughter of Kilmichael veteran, Pat), from Sean Kelleher, Eve Morrison, Jeff Dudgeon, and from me.

The URLs are:

Maureen Deasy:
http://www.historyireland.com/Extra%20Letters/ExtraLettersJanFeb2013/Kilmichael/

Kelleher, Meehan, Morrison, O’Donovan:
Peter Hart etc / Letters Extra Jan/Feb2013 / historyireland.com

Dudgeon:
Dunmanway Massacre / Letters Extra Jan/Feb2013 / historyireland.com

The response is fallout mainly from Padraic O Ruairc’s History Ireland review of Terror in Ireland 1916-23 (David FItzpatrick, ed), to which Morrison then took exception, followed by responses in the Nov-Dec 2012 History Ireland and in the latest Jan-Feb 2013 edition.

Morrison (and editor, David Fitzpatrick) also took exception to this review:
Terror in Ireland 1916-23, David Fitzpatrick (ed) - review by Niall Meehan (including David Fitzpatrick, Eve Morrison, responses) | Niall Meehan - Academia.edu
http://www.academia.edu/1994527/
.... and to John Regan's:
Essay Book Reviews - Irish Book Reviews - Dublin Review of Books
http://www.drb.ie/reviews/reply-to-john-regan
 

cb1979

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There's a tendency sometimes to focus almost exclusively on Peter Hart in this discussion. I wonder what posters think of the issue of revisionism in Irish historiography in general.
 

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