As the one-hundredth anniversary of the Easter Rising nears, the title of this book harkens us back to W.B. Yeats’s “Easter, 1916”; who were the men and women that changed history? Meet these brave souls with Vivid Faces: The Revolutionary Generation (W.W. Norton, $29.95) in R.F. Foster’s account of the patriots willing to risk everything. Indeed, Foster has investigated every facet of his subjects’ lives, and includes details of religion, sex, voting rights, literature, bawdy songs, and favorite foods as he charts the actions of this great generation driven to give their blood to gain independence. From creating the world-famous Abbey Theatre to preserving the Gaelic tongue and their Celtic creation mythology to the more intimate experiences of young couples sacrificing personal happiness to bring about change, Foster’s book offers a complex portrait of Irish freedom fighters active between 1890 and 1923.
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 26th, 2015