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People from inner city Dublin estates like Fatima Mansions do not usually get to write books. The voice of the poorer working class is often marginalised and ignored. You do not hear working class accents on TV or radio unless it's to caricature and mock them. But that's even more the case when that voice has analysed the society that is holding them down and has offered solutions to the problems facing the working class.

After reading James O'Toole's new book "The Irish State & Revolution", I can only describe it as a revolutionary critique of the 100 year history of the Irish state. It deals with the origins of the state before moving on to explain the history and nature of all the key institutions from the Gardaí to the Church.

It starts with the partition of the country, showing how the counter revolution that followed partition marked the Irish state and helped to shape its institutions - something that lives on to this day. The chapter on political corruption scandals will make your blood boil! You are reminded of just how much the wealthy crooks got away with, and continue to get away with to this day6.

The book is filled with historical facts but presents them in clear conversational style, this is not an academic book on Irish history - it's a call to arms from one working class person to others. The book uses many examples of life in inner city Dublin to illustrate the nature of Irish capitalism.

There are many things in this book that haven't been done before - it offers the first comprehensive Socialist history of the Gardaí, a complete history of each of the main political parties and the final chapters deal with questions of strategy and tactics in social movements, how workers fight back and an outline of how socialism could work in Ireland.

This is an important book. There is no other book that has so much relevant information in one place and all delivered in a consistently relatable and easy to read style. This jargon free approach to dealing with complicated political arguments is, to my mind, a robust challenge to the entire left in Irish politics to leave behind academic writing styles and write for the people who will overthrow the rotten Irish state.

We must make Socialist politics accessible to everyone if we are serious about inspiring people to rise up.

This book successfully does that and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to understand how we got to where we are today, how we can change things and most importantly, why we must!

You can order a copy of the Irish State and Revolution in print form, or as an eBook for Kindle/Kobo etc. by going to the E-Store link above
book review - the irish state and revolution (author James O'Toole)
Dave Smyth reviews James O'Toole's latest book: