Ireland Now is an accessible guide to understanding how Ireland and the Irish people have changed during the past fifteen years. Largely as a result of the country's rapidly expanding economy, Ireland has been transformed from one of the poorest to one of the richest countries in the European Union. William Flanagan uses personal, first-hand stories from a wide range of Irish citizens, including the elderly, farmers, people in small towns and rural areas, and new immigrants, to illustrate how various segments of the population are coping with a shifting social landscape. Flanagan skillfully weaves his stories of real people together to reflect themes of promise and loss attached to economic upheaval, the struggle to maintain traditional ways in the face of new social and moral orders, the effort to adapt to a country with an enhanced place in the world economy, and the challenge of remaining at home as the meaning of home becomes forever changed. Based on years of Flanagan's personal experience and careful research in Ireland, this important book examines the nature of Irish character and the fusion of tradition and change. It will appeal to anyone with an interest in Ireland and Irish identity.
William Flanagan is professor of sociology at Coe College. He is the author of Urban Sociology: Images and Structure and Contemporary Urban Sociology.