In Search of the Promised Land: The Politics of Post-War Ireland, 1945-1961 Gary Murphy
This title presents a head on challenge to the prevailing view that Post-Second World War Ireland was in a state of chaos. In his book, Preventing the Future, Tom Garvin argues that old culture, old ideas and the repression of the Church held Ireland's development in check through the 1940s and 50s. It is a widely held view that the catholic culture of the island was a check on our progress. In Search of the Promised Land offers a different perspective. This book argues that in fact the various administrations were open to change and new ideas. That changes in thinking at both a governmental and a non-governmental level led Ireland to adopt new and outward looking policies. That while some policy makers were reluctant to accept any form of multi-lateral trading arrangements which would alter protected industry and the country's privileged access to British markets, the severe economic crisis that affected Ireland throughout the 1950s led to the adoption of fresh economic thinking both within and outside the civil service. It was this fresh thinking that came from within the country and was championed by the people Garvin and his ilk see as holding back Ireland's progress, that eventually led to the association with Europe and the joining of the EEC. Far from holding the country back, the leadership and culture was seeking new ways to deal with the nations challenges.