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  • We Don't Know Ourselves

  • A Personal History of Ireland Since 1958
  • By: Fintan O'Toole
  • Narrated by: Aidan Kelly
  • Length: 22 hrs and 12 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (51 ratings)

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We Don't Know Ourselves cover art

We Don't Know Ourselves

By: Fintan O'Toole
Narrated by: Aidan Kelly
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Publisher's Summary

Fintan O'Toole, Ireland's leading public intellectual and author of Heroic Failure, tells a history of Ireland in his own time - a brilliant interweaving of memoir and historical narrative.

Fintan O'Toole was born in 1958. His life covers Ireland's journey out of underdevelopment and domination by the Church, to the country's transformation into the relatively prosperous and tolerant society that it is today. But, along the way, there was a sectarian civil war in the North, which cast a dark shadow over the whole island, and bitter struggles for intellectual, civil and sexual freedoms. The Church fought a long rearguard action to defend its entrenched positions in education, healthcare and childcare. The truth about child abuse and institutional cruelty emerged slowly, and women still had to die to make possible the liberalisation of Irish laws on contraception and divorce.

This is a very personal history by a writer who is considered by many to be the country's leading public intellectual. He was a participant in many of the controversies and arguments of the past 35 years and knew the leading literary, musical and political figures of those decades.

©2021 Fintan O'Toole (P)2021 W F Howes
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about We Don't Know Ourselves

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Great

What a brilliant writer! Harrowing…the list of heinous implements used to torture children and teens made me cry. If there is a hell I hope McQuaid is having a really tough time.

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Many reviews say it but I truly mean a must read!

Authentic and accurate account of life in Ireland and life of Ireland. Couldn’t put it down. Everything fits better in my mind now. Makes sense and I can truly understand and have that required “negative capability”

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  • IAN
  • 06-01-2024

A moving and inspiring story of the latter Irish Republic.

I enjoyed the performance of the reader, his accent and knowledge of Irish names and places was outstanding.

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Problems playing

Hi I have having problems with playing the novel We Don’t Really Know Ourselves. Can you please check out what the issue is?

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  • urs
  • 23-07-2023

Master and wordsmith, full of cynical, intellectual overviews

Loved it - he’s a bloody brilliant writer,
Brilliant perspectives, witty, cynical, entertaining, comedic, pragmatic, of a country that came from hell and went back awards while it tries to go forwards- still he leaves us with hope and pragmatic sense of how it all came to be and what would it could be. Thanks Fintan

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    4 out of 5 stars

So much here tat an outsider could never know or guess at.

An amazing book of revelation, insights and understandings of the complex history and culture of Ireland.

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A masterpiece

I find it hard to think of another memoir/ history of a country, of a period in its history that I admire as much as this. Sharp and nuanced insights matched by crystal clear and beautiful writing. A masterpiece of its kind.

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Thanks Fintan and Aidan!

Wonderful listen - what moving and generous insights. I didn't want this to end.

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Must read

Fantastic and engrossing. It’s not just a history of Ireland but a history of how we as a people have grown, such a great listen

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bloody brilliant

it's was like hearing my own life articulated in a way I couldn't even begin to and had forgotten half of and didn't know the other half - that half that shaped my travels and views.

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