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Renaissance Nation

Here David McWilliams presents the story of modern Ireland. Surveying four decades, bookended by the visits of the pope in September 1979 and August 2018, he explores how Ireland has become one of the wealthiest and most progressive nations in the world.

Once we threw off the shackles and replaced the torpor of collective dogma with the vibrancy of individual freedom, our economy too started to motor. A triumph of popular economics and social history, Renaissance Nation is the story of how, almost without anyone noticing, an insurgent middle class carried off something extraordinary – a quiet revolution – and, with it, reshaped our national identity.

Meet the everyman revolutionaries who made it all happen, heroes like Sliotar Mom and Flat White Man. Feel the pulse of the Radical Centre and celebrate the optimism of a tolerant, accepting, ‘live and let live’ nation.


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Publication Date

April 2019




Paperback, 320 pages

Country of Origin



Gill Books


By David McWilliams

Availability Status


David McWilliams is one of Ireland’s most prominent broadcasters and columnists. Since the runaway success of his iconic publishing debut, The Pope’s Children, he has emerged as one of Ireland’s most prescient and trusted economic commentators. He is a regular columnist with The Irish Times and the Financial Times.

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