Margo Shea, "Derry City: Memory and Political Struggle in Northern Ireland" (U Notre Dame Press, 2020)


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The city that sits on the River Foyle on the North side of the Irish isle in many ways has stood as a microcosm of the conflicts in Northern Ireland, even to the contestation over the name of Derry/Londonderry. In Derry City: Memory and Political Struggle in Northern Ireland (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020), Margo Shea examines the popular and cultural identity formations in this emblematic city over the century leading up to the sectarian clash known commonly as as "The Troubles." Throughout the period Shea examines, Irish nationalist communities developed a cultural memory that fostered a social identity and shared heritage as an alternative to the loyalist sanctioned commemorations, festivals, and community histories. Shea's study models a fruitful method of reading cultural history, especially of communities without recourse to political power and the usual means of archival representation. This book will be of interest for those interested in the formation of cultural identity and the development of Northern Ireland.

Ryan David Shelton (@ryoldfashioned) is a social historian of British and American Protestantism and a PhD researcher at Queen’s University Belfast.

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