A major biography of a monumental figure in modern Irish history. Arthur Griffith was a veracious journalist and proponent of economic nationalism who founded Sinn Féin, served as President of Dáil Éireann, and was chairman of the Irish delegation in the negotiations that produced the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921.
As a working-class Dubliner who played a crucial role in inspiring and leading Dáil Éireann in its formative stages, Arthur Griffith’s life and world is one of the greatest windows into understanding the dynamics of the Irish revolution. Owen McGee’s authoritative biography is based on fascinating original research and presents a fresh analysis and interpretation of Griffith’s life and the economic basis of the political history of the era.
Griffith has been typified as ‘the last Young Irelander’ and Owen McGee’s masterly account reflects on this by examining the very different conceptions of Irish nationalism that existed before and after the formation of the Irish state. It also suggests that Griffith’s belief in the importance of economic freedoms and the ability of an independent Ireland to provide for its own people, was an ideal that inspired the subsequent evolution of the Irish state.
“In Arthur Griffith there is a mighty force in Ireland. He has none of the wildness of some I could name. Instead there is an abundance of wisdom and an awareness of things which are Ireland.”
– Michael Collins
Table of Contents
- The Dubliner and Independent Nationalist (1871–96)
- The Pro-Boer Republican (1897–1902)
- The Review Editor
- The Resurrection of Hungary and the Birth of Sinn Féin (1904–5)
- The Stillborn Party: Sinn Féin (1906–10)
- The Framework of Home Rule (1910–14)
- The First World War and the Reinvention of Sinn Féin (1914–18)
- The Launch of Dáil Eireann (1918–19)
- Dáil Eireann as an Underground Organisation (1919–20)
- The Search for a Negotiable Settlement (1921)
- Securing an Anglo-Irish Agreement? (1922)
- The Survival of Dáil Eireann (1922)
About the Author
Owen McGee holds a PhD in history and a MA in archive studies from University College Dublin. He has taught history at the University of Limerick and worked as a teaching assistant at UCD. A former holder of the postdoctoral fellowship at the National Library of Ireland, his first book, The IRB: The Irish Republican Brotherhood from the Land League to Sinn Féin won the NUI Centennial Prize for Irish History. He has also worked for the Royal Irish Academy’s Dictionary of Irish Biography and in 2020 he published A History of Ireland in International Relations with Irish Academic Press.
Praise for Arthur Griffith
‘A work of superb scholarship’
The Irish Times