Feargus O'Connor: A Political Life

Author(s): PICKERING, Paul A
ISBN13/Barcode: 9780850365627

Availability: 39 In stock

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A survey of Feargus O’Connor’s career (1795-1855) written for a general and academic audience. At the height of his popularity as a leader of the Chartists’ campaign for democratic reform in Britain, Feargus O’Connor enjoyed the support of millions of working people, but his role in the history of British radical politics is only half the story. More than any other popular leader of his generation, O’Connor sought to bring those whom he called the ‘working Saxon and Celt’ together in a common struggle, an aspiration that had its roots deep in the Irish past. This book restores the Irish dimension to O’Connor’s career to its proper place by offering, for the first time, an evaluation of his heritage, his ideas, and his public life on both sides of the Irish Sea. It is an important story that is worth rescuing for both readers in both Ireland and Britain.

He was ‘seriously concerned about the well-being of the millions in Ireland. Repeal — the abolition of the Union, that is, the achievement of an independent Irish Parliament — is not an empty word, not a pretext for obtaining posts for himself and his friends and for making profitable private business transactions...’

‘Pickering’s biography succeeds in bringing the many facets of O’Connor’s work and struggles to life. It is completely readable, scholarly, and totally accessible to students and general interest readers alike. More significantly, it devotes attention to the conditions that made O’Connor an advocate for the working man and the politically oppressed. It helps us understand how frustrations with Irish politics led to his best-known role, leader of an English political and socioeconomic reform movement; and how divisions there, brought him back, however unsuccessfully, to pick up the Irish cause at the end of his political life. Pickering thoroughly humanizes the great ‘Lion of Freedom,’ rendering him more sympathetic and, perhaps, historically relevant than previously believed.’ H-Albion;

‘This is a book to stand alongside the best of Chartist biographies - Schoyen on Harney & Taylor on Jones. It is a compelling story told even-handedly but with sympathy for Feargus at its heart. This study follows other important books & articles by Pickering. He must now surely be regarded as the leading historian of Chartism in the world.’ www.thepeoplescharter.co.uk/reviews.htm ‘Where Pickering really scores is in capturing the flavour and spirit of O’Connor as leader of the world’s first working-class movement…’ LSHG Newsletter.

‘Pickering’s study provides a valuable and timely reappraisal of a much maligned and, ultimately, tragic figure. The book is No.9 in Merlin Press’s excellent Chartist Study Series that has also produced numerous reprints of Chartist writings. … Readers familiar with Pickering’s’ ‘Chartism and the Chartists in Manchester & Salford’, (Basingstoke, 1995) will expect a readable, well-researched perceptive study. They will not be disappointed with this study of Feargus O’Connor. It is positive revisionism and highly recommended.’North West Labour History

Eight pages of b/w illustrations.

Additional Information

ISBN13/Barcode 9780850365627
ISBN10 0850365627
Author PICKERING, Paul A
Binding Hardback
Date Published 26 Aug 2008
Frequency No
Report Date N/A
Pages 172
Publisher Merlin Press

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